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Kenya Travel Guide & Manual


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CONTENTS 3

FOREWORD: KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE

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FOREWORD: KENYA TOURISM FEDERATION

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FOREWORD: KENYA TOURIST BOARD

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KENYA COFFEE

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THE COAST

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LAMU CULTURAL FESTIVAL

A unique and unforgettable experience

Kenya will draw you back, time and again Welcome to the wonders of Kenya

Richer than ever variety of good coffee Culture, history, golf and water sports – the coast has it all Celebrating an ancient culture that evolved from 2,000 years of trade

TURKANA CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Cultural festival celebrates unique lifestyle of Turkana people

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DOMESTIC AVIATION Just a short flight away

CONFERENCE TOURISM A conference venue for all reasons

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BIRDWATCHING

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KENYA ENTERTAINMENT

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ATHLETICS

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GOLF

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BALLOONING

A paradise for birdwatchers Diverse entertainment sector offers something for everyone Kenyan stars dazzle on world athletics stage Wonderful golf courses in a great choice of locations Up, up and away…

DOLPHIN WATCHING Kisite Marine Park and Reserve

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KENYA TEA

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CULTURE & HERITAGE

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MOUNT KENYA

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ROCKCLIMBING

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DIRECTORY OF NATIONAL PARKS & RESERVES

Kenya’s finest brew is a key source of revenue Kenyans maintain their rich cultural traditions Majestic Mount Kenya offers a thrilling challenge to climbers Mountain parks offer a paradise for rock-climbers Park index & route planner

Th is Kenya Travel Guide & Manual is published by:

land&MARINE Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park, Colchester Essex, CO4 9RA, UK Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Fax: +44 (0)1206 842958 E-mail: publishing@landmarine.com www.landmarine.com The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor nor of any other organisation associated with this publication. No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions. Printed by: Pensord Additional photographs by: David Waters, Black Marlin Resort ISSN 1756-1817 © 2010 Land & Marine Publications Ltd

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FOREWORD FROM KWS Kenya Wildlife Ser vice PO Box 40241-0 010 0 Nairobi Kenya Tel: +254 (20) 600 080 0, 6002345 Fax: + 254 (20) 6007024 ISDN: +254 (20) 399 200 0 Wireless: +254 (20) 2379407-9, 2379410-6 Mob: +254 (735) 663 421; (726) 610 508/9 Email: marketing@kws.go.ke www.kws.go.ke

A unique and A unique and unforgettable experience unforgettable experience K

enya Wildlife Service continues to stay tuned to the mandate entrusted to us not just by Kenyan people but by the world. Amidst the challenges we continue to battle, conserving our habitat for posterity, managing biodiversity and above all, offering this unique ecosystem to the world. Wildlife tourism is still the number one attraction to Kenya. Kenya is truly a beautiful country. It tells a story of contrasting landscape, treasured wildlife, all year round sunshine and hospitable people. We invite you all to sample the unmatched experience offered by our parks throughout the year. The marine parks offer you some of the best places to unwind and refresh at the coast, while a combination of Hellsgate, Lake Nakuru, and the Aberdares will provide the perfect camping trip for you and your family. The options are many, and our offers remain the best, so seize the opportunity and enjoy: the beauty of Amboseli, the joy of conquering Mount Kenya, the drama of the Tsavos, the peace offered by the Nairobi National Park and the allure of the new-look Kisumu Impala and Ndere Island. We promise you opportunities beyond your imagination but within your reach. KWS also offers self-catering accommodation facilities in selected parks; the accommodation is ideal for families.

I would like to remind all visitors and potential visitors to KWS parks that even as we enjoy what nature bequeathed us, always remember that were it not for conservation, all this would be lost. We remain committed to the cause of conservation even in the face of challenges and difficult times. We appreciate your support and pledge to remain focused in making our conservation efforts a success. That success is anchored on the partnership between you and KWS.

Conservation Keeping wildlife alive is more complex and expensive than ever before. Conservation work for the 21st century and beyond is supported primarily by tourism and international organisations. As we move down the long road towards self-sustainability, we will this year be launching the Kenya Wildlife Service Fund. By definition, the principal of an endowment fund cannot be touched; only interest and other income may be tapped. Therefore, the fund will be able to support wildlife and community conservation efforts, generation after generation. For more information on how you can take part in the endowment fund and its various activities, log onto www.kws.go.ke Be sure to visit our world class parks and reserves for a unique and unforgettable experience. Dr Julius Kipng’etich Director Kenya Wildlife Service

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FOREWORD FROM KTF

Kenya will draw you Kenya will draw you back, back,timetime and again and again K

enya is many things to many different people. The majority of our visitors have left after their first holiday feeling so relaxed and enriched by their experiences that some have come back again and again. Ours is a destination that cannot be adequately explained or written about in books or catalogues. In order to understand, one needs to come and experience Magical Kenya. The Kenya Tourism Federation is honoured to be part of the updated Kenya Travel Guide & Manual. Kenya Tourism Federation is the umbrella body for the private sector in tourism, representing the interests of:

Kenya Tourism Federation KWS Complex, Lang’ata Road PO Box 15013-0 0509 Nairobi Tel: +254 (0)20 800 100 0 Tourist Helpline: +254 (0)20 600 4767 Cell: +254 (0)722 745 645/0738 617 499 Fax: +254 (0)20 600 1343 E-mail: operations@ktf.co.ke and admin@ktf.co.ke

At KTF we run the safety and communication centre, which is manned 24 hours a day and receives and disseminates information on tourist safety and security to potential tourists, industry players and relevant security organs. Tourism has been identified as one of the six pillars that will drive economic growth in Kenya under the Kenya Vision 2030. KTF is working closely with Government and other industry stakeholders to ensure sustainable and responsible use of our tourism products, while also opening up under-utilised areas of great tourism potential for the benefit of tourists, who are increasingly discerning and environmentally conscious, for investors and for the growth of our economy.

• Kenya Association of Tour Operators

Experiences

• Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers

There is so much to see and do while in Kenya that you can visit our great country several times and enjoy a totally different experience each time. Our constituent association’s members are bound by strict codes of ethics and will help you experience Kenya in its totality, from the safari trails, beach holidays, mountain climbing, deepsea fishing and city tours to our local people with their beautiful sunshine smiles and warm demeanour and the vibrant entertainment scene that this country has to offer.

• Kenya Association of Air Operators • Kenya Association of Travel Agents • Eco Tourism Kenya • Mombasa Coast Tourism Association • Pubs, Entertainment & Restaurants Association of Kenya. In line with our mission ‘to promote a sustainable tourism sector through effective representation of private sector industry stakeholder interests on a national level’, we have reviewed the Travel Guide & Manual to include more information on Kenya.

KARIBU Agatha Juma CEO Kenya Tourism Federation

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FOREWORD FROM KTB

Welcome to the Welcome to the wonders wonders of Kenya of Kenya J

AMBO AND KARIBU are the Swahili words for Hello and Welcome that greet our visitors almost everywhere they go. They represent the warmth of the Kenyan people, who are more than ready to welcome you as you sample our country’s diversified tourism products. Kenya, in East Africa, is one of the world’s leading travel destinations thanks to its scenery, magnificent wildlife and pleasant year-round climate. It is an independent republic bordering the Indian Ocean and forming part of the East African Region. The nation’s capital is Nairobi and its other main towns are Nakuru, Kisumu and the port city of Mombasa. Kenya has dozens of cultures, tribes and sub-tribes. It is also well known for its fusion of wildlife, its range of topography and its extremes of climate. The topography and scenic beauty of Kenya are breathtaking. This is a land of great contrasts. About one-third is covered by the grasslands of the savannah, another third is desert and the remainder is cool highlands, deeply wooded forests and jagged snow-capped mountains such as Mount Kenya. The Kenyan climate is subtropical. Rainfall is very low. Normally, there are long rains in April and May and shorter rains in late November and December, but this pattern can be erratic. Kenya also boasts superb footprint-free beaches and warm tropical waters, thus ensuring a complete safari vacation experience. Kenya has a system of

Kenya Tourist Board PO Box 30630-0 010 0 Nairobi Tel: +254 (0)20 271 1262 Fax: +254 (0)20 271 9925 E-mail: info@kenyatourism.org ww w.magicalkenya.com

well managed nature reserves across the country, where lions, rhinos, elephants and large numbers of zebras, antelopes and birds can be seen in the wild. From Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, one can often see giraffes grazing. All the spectacular natural settings and wildlife of Africa can be found here. A Kenya safari is a truly African experience, combining the animals in the plains such as the Masai Mara, the beaches of Mombasa or Malindi, and the Rift Valley. Our country also has beautiful unspoilt beaches, thriving coral reefs with their glorious colours, memorable mountain vistas and ancient Swahili cities. Along its coastline of more than 500 km, with palm trees, blue seas and resorts, the people are extremely friendly and their hospitality can sometimes be overwhelming. Their culture and traditions date back for centuries and, with up to 70 different tribal communities, you will find plenty to talk about. Kenya has 54 national parks and reserves, together with private conservancies and sanctuaries, covering over 10 per cent of the land area, as well as seven marine national parks and reserves. On behalf of Kenya Tourist Board, I welcome you to magical Kenya for an exciting and unforgettable experience. Once again, Jambo and Karibu Kenya. Muriithi Ndegwa Kenya Tourist Board

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KENYA COFFEE

Richer than ever variety Richer than ever varietof y good coffee of good coffee

K

enya is home to one of nature’s finest coffees, famous for its intense flavour, full body and pleasant aroma. Coffee beans are carefully cultivated and handpicked on family farms, sorted to retain the best beans, processed and dried in the heat of the sun. The dried beans are then used to brew extraordinarily rich cups of smooth coffee with a deep flavour, a fruity wine aroma, a full body and a pleasant floral aftertaste. The quality of the coffee is also exemplified by its mild acidity.

The Mount Kenya region, stretching from the foothills of Mount Kenya and Aberdare to the outskirts of Nairobi, contains a pristine indigenous forest with a unique microclimate that is teeming with wildlife. The coffee produced here is rich in acidity and full bodied with a sensual aroma and hints of citric fruit – characteristics that make it one of the world’s best.

Family farms Coffee beans are grown by an estimated 700,000 smallholders in Kenya. For the most part these are family farms averaging two acres in size. Collectively, the total growing area is estimated at 170,000 hectares. Production is confined to high altitudes, at 1,400 to 2,100 metres above sea level, where the soil is volcanic. The main coffee grown in Kenya is Arabica, which varies in flavour varying depending on the region where it is cultivated.

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Nature’s finest coffee


Coffee plantation Bordering Uganda to the east and Tanzania to the south, the region of Mount Elgon and Lake Victoria is home to mountain forests containing rich flora and fauna including the world’s biggest variety of birds. Most of the coffee grown here has a mild fruity flavour; but the southern part of the region is associated with the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee, characterised by its mild acidity.

Niche coffee In stark contrast, the expansive landscape of the North and South Rift Valley regions – created by shifts in tectonic plates in the dawn of time – provides a niche coffee growing area in the high places where it is cool. Lastly, the landscape of the Mount Kenya East region, north-east of Nairobi, consists of gently rounded ridges that slope into valleys with permanent swift-flowing streams. The deep volcanic soils are well drained and complemented by the

sloping topography. The succulent berries originating here yield the finest specialty coffee. For years, Kenya has exported coffee as a commodity that is processed to an end product and used for blending coffees from other origins. Although Kenya coffee was a successful export, this process meant that its distinctiveness was lost. Today, Kenya coffee is branded to give it identity and retain differentiation. Coffee lovers who enjoy fine, rich coffee will be captivated by the taste while holidaying in Kenya and will probably want to buy some coffee beans or ground coffee to take home.

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THE COAST

Culture, history, golf andCulture, water sports history, golf and water sports – the–coast it all has it all thehas coast History and culture The legacy of Kenya’s history and cultural tradition is there to be experienced and enjoyed for visitors to the easy-paced towns along the south coast. For those who love historical architecture, one of the key visitor sites is Fort Jesus, near Mombasa old town. It was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century to repel attacks by local people and foreign invaders who objected to Portuguese control of East Africa’s trade routes. The fort is still there, providing visitors with a snapshot of life in the days of the slave trade.

ruins of once-great buildings such as a palace, mosques, large houses and wells. The area was abandoned in the early 17th century and today the ruins are preserved as a national museum. In addition to Fort Jesus, Lamu and the Gede Ruins, travellers can visit communities on the coast where they will find a warm welcome from the local people. Through these visits, travellers can gain a better understanding of the history of these communities and their enduring cultural traditions.

Old town Lamu is the longest surviving settlement in Kenya and also the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Now classified by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, the town is full of history and culture. Motorised transport is not allowed in the narrow streets, where people move around on foot or by bicycle or donkey. Just a few minutes’ drive from the town of Malindi are the remnants of a 15th century Swahili town known as the Gede Ruins. A feature of the town is that it was built entirely of stone and mangrove wood, indicating that this was once a place of wealth. This is evident, too, from the

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Old town Lamu


Golf Lovers of golf are spoilt for choice by the range of fine courses along the beautiful Kenyan coast. the latest is the Baobab course, an 18 hole championship course at Vipingo ridge. Built to international standards, the Baobab course and the Palm course, both at Vipingo ridge, offer a first rate golfing experience. The 18 holes have beautifully landscaped fairways with thousands of trees planted throughout the course. The course offers lush fairways, fast putting surfaces and a host of water features including lakes and streams, all adding to the challenge. In addition, there is a driving range as well as a fine new clubhouse with superb views of the course and the ocean. Another stunning championship course is Leisure Lodge Golf Course, at Diani, which hosts various international tournaments. Its impressive facilities include a full-size driving range, a chipping green and a practice bunker. There is also a well stocked pro shop and a smart clubhouse. The course is open to the public and non-members are welcome to play at most club tournaments. Green fees are very reasonable.

Pristine beach Home to some of the world’s finest beaches, with miles of pristine white powdery sand bordering the Indian Ocean, Mombasa offers a scenic destination complemented by first-rate hospitality.

Mombasa Beach

There is a great choice of holiday opportunities, from quiet, secluded getaways on private beaches to open holiday stays at the larger resorts and hotels. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach, ride a camel or take a dip in the warm, translucent waters. The fine sandy shoreline is also an ideal place for beach volleyball, football or cricket. For lovers of adventure, the Indian Ocean is home to a colourful and diverse aquatic life that offers exhilarating opportunities for exploration. Many hotels and resorts along the coast can arrange guided deepsea diving and scuba diving expeditions. For a more relaxed ‘sneak peek’ at some of the beautiful fish in this region, guests can borrow snorkels and view the underwater world at their own pace.

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THE COAST

Water sports The Indian Ocean offers great opportunities for water sports. They include the thrill of windsurfing on the warm waters, while surfers can take advantage of the huge rollers and the balmy ocean breeze is ideal for kite surfing. For first-timers there is a good choice of professional kite and windsurfing schools along the coast that can organise everything from beginner lessons to surf holidays. Big game and deepsea fishing can easily be arranged and these sports are popular with tourists and local people. There are various sea angling clubs with experienced crews who will go out on the ocean with guests and assist them with baiting, hooking and reeling catches. These tropical waters are some of the best fishing grounds in the world, home to black, blue and

Ocean diving

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striped marlin, broadbill swordfish, mako sharks, sailfish and other species. Fishing crews can take away their catch or release it back to the sea in order to support the campaign for sustainable sport fishing.

Sailing For a complete view of the ocean’s vast blue surface, striking islands and beautiful coastline, there is no better option than an excursion by sailing boat. Sailing trips can be arranged for mornings or evenings. Various sail companies offer excellent trips at competitive rates to choice locations along the coast. In addition, there are opportunities to sail in authentic Arab dhows or take a boat trip to one of the various marine parks and reserves such as Kisite Marine Park.

Aquatic life The colourful marine parks and reserves are excellent locations for snorkelling and diving. They are some of the best fish breeding grounds. Note that fishing and the collection of trophies are not allowed within the park boundaries. The warm, shallow waters around Kisite Island are perfect for snorkelling and diving while protecting the marine life. For a more relaxed way of viewing these creatures, visitors can take a glass bottom boat excursion. The coast is well endowed with marine wildlife, boasting no fewer than eight marine parks. The Kisite and Mpunguti marine parks offer protection to more than 250 recorded species of fish and over 45 varieties of coral reef. With such a variety of marine life, ocean diving at these sites is an exciting experience. Up the coast, at the Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve, the Mida creek is rich in birdlife and the mangrove is a protected breeding ground for fish. This park is home to exotic deepsea species and the nighttime glow of the coral is a sight to behold.


LAMU CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Celebrating a ancient Celebrating an ancient culture culture that evolved from 2,000 years2,000 of trade years that evolved from T

he monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean brought visitors to the east coast of Africa as early as 2,000 years ago. This is known from the earliest historical records in the form of ‘The Peryplus of the Erythraean Sea’, written in the 1st century AD, and Ptolemy’s ‘Geographia’, in the 3rd century AD.

Lamu Cultural Festival

© David Waters

These visitors traded with local inhabitants on the coast and established Kenya’s initial contact with the outside world. Interaction with various cultures along the coast gradually evolved into a distinct ethnicity that became the Swahili culture. Lamu is the oldest Swahili town in East Africa, with over 700 years of continuous settlement.

The friendly people of Lamu have long welcomed visitors to their unique settlement and the town is home to various cultural and education festivals in which visitors are encouraged to take part. Since Lamu old town became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001, local organisers have been welcoming guests to the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, a celebration of the unique heritage of the Lamu archipelago. Lamu old town is one of only four Unesco World Heritage sites in Kenya.

Dancing The three-day festivities are a showcase for traditional dancing, the Swahili bridal ceremony, local handicraft and competitive events such as dhow races, donkey races and poetry competitions. The festival is also an incentive for local people to take pride in their culture, share it with the world and safeguard it for generations to come.

TURKANA CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Cultural festival celebrates Cultural celebrates unique lifesfestival tyle of Turkana people

unique T lifestyle of Turkana peop he cultural spotlight is being focused on the Turkana, a conservative ethnic group of some 340,000 people in northern Kenya. In recent years their strict cultural lifestyle has been celebrated in the Turkana Cultural Festival, which will take place for the third time in 2010.

The festival continues to attract a diverse audience including diplomats and foreign travellers as well as local people. This unique event in a remote, sandy and semi-arid region is something of an endurance test as well as being great fun and highly educational.

The 2010 festival takes place on 19 and 20 June at Loiyangalani, on the shores of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, which also has the greatest population of lake-dwelling crocodiles. The celebrations will focus on the powerful Turkana culture and will feature traditional songs, dances, representations of nomadic culture and displays of art.

Traditional dances

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DOMESTIC AVIATION

Just short ight away Just aashort flightflaway M

ost of Kenya’s prime wildlife viewing areas are more than 120 km from Nairobi and even further from Mombasa. Visitors can either choose to travel to these parks and reserves overland in a safari van or 4x4 using Kenya’s fast-improving road network or opt for the convenience of a short flight. Kenya’s domestic aviation sector, largely based at Nairobi’s busy Wilson Airport, is specially geared to handle this traffic with fleets of small aircraft ideally suited to landing and taking off from sometimes rudimentary bush airstrips. The two main local operators Safarilink and Air Kenya between them provide daily scheduled services from Wilson to the Mara (to several different strips), Amboseli, Tsavo West, Lewa Downs, Nanyuki (for Laikipia), Shaba, Meru and Samburu.

Additionally, no-frills operator Fly540 offers a direct daily service from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the Mara. This flight avoids passengers transferring to Wilson after arrival in Kenya. From the coast, Mombasa Air Safari operates to Amboseli, the Mara and Tsavo.

Charters Tourists can also charter a private aircraft, with Boskovic Air Charter and others offering flexible times and destinations from Wilson, or for a more luxurious and scenic experience, Lady Lori Helicopters flies clients in style and comfort.

Safarilink

CONFERENCE TOURISM

A conference A conference venue venue for all reasons for all reasons K

enya is an increasingly popular choice of venue for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

Kenya offers the perfect environment in which to discuss business or work with colleagues. Many hotels offer first-rate conference packages to international standards. This is true not only in the comfortable city hotels but also in lodges situated in the parks and reserves as well as in large coastal resorts. Conference and venue prices are competitive and most hotels have excellent facilities and modern technical support. Some venues have been designed specially for large-scale conferences. The most notable is Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). The standard of service here is world-class, with modern conference and exhibi-

tion equipment, seating for up to 4,000 delegates and a comprehensive range of support services. KICC has hosted major international conferences and is a member of several prestigious organisations – all of which highlight its international appeal. The centre attained ISO certification in 2007 for its service standard. KICC has opened up Kenya to international business, with premier conferencing facilities complemented by world-class hospitality. Also in Nairobi, the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) offers first-rate conferencing facilities and presents Kenya with an opportunity to develop industry and support green conferencing initiatives. With its thriving conference industry, Kenya is now considered the top business tourism destination.

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BIRDWATCHING

AA paradise paradise for birdwatchers for birdwatchers K

enya is a mecca for birdwatchers. The country is home to an amazing 1,100 recorded species – about 11 per cent of the world’s total bird population. Over the past 30 years birdwatching in Kenya has become a popular organised pastime for both enthusiastic locals and visitors.

– and also to Mount Kenya, Lake Naivasha, the Amboseli and Aberdare National Parks, Kieni Forest and Hell’s Gate.

There are excellent areas for bird viewing throughout Kenya and visitors can readily obtain a special checklist to keep track of sightings. In most parks and wildlife areas visitors can observe the birdlife with the help of an experienced guide. There are also opportunities to go on pre-planned nature trails in areas with a large bird population.

Annual event

Expeditions The organisation Nature Kenya lays on birdwatching expeditions in Nairobi and the surrounding area. In addition, it organises trips further inland on a monthly basis to Lake Baringo – which has the highest recorded number of bird species, 450, and a resident ornithologist

Verraux’s Eagle

A bird-ringing event is held each year at Ngulia lodge in Tsavo West. Over a two-week period, more than 30,000 birds of 40 to 50 species are ringed and up to 200 other species are observed. Kenya is a wintering ground for many birds, some of which have migrated from as far as Europe to escape the harsh winter. Others simply ‘camp’ for a short time before heading on to southern Africa, returning to Europe later. Of the 1,100 species found in Kenya, about 230 are migrant, 170 palearctic and 60 intra-African. Only 10 species are endemic to Kenya. Kakamega Forest in western Kenya is said to be one of the last remnants of the ancient GuineoCongolian rainforest that once spanned the continent. It is famous for the diversity of its birdlife, with over 367 species recorded, seven of which are endemic to Kakamega Forest. Once again, birdwatchers heading for this area can pick up a special checklist on arrival.

African Kingfisher

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KENYA ENTERTAINMENT

Diverse entertainment sector something Diverse offers entertainment sector for every off ers somet hing for everyone T

he entertainment scene in Kenya is alive with flexible, fun-filled and diverse products tailored to the changing demands of tourists and complemented by superb yearround tropical weather. In the past, most visitors to Kenya were looking to enjoy a safari or beach holiday. Today,

however, it is clear that Kenya has even more to offer. In fact, there is an array of entertainment products to complement a beach break or safari adventure. This includes more than 1,000 restaurants serving every type of cuisine as well as lively nightlife venues, sports activities and local entertainment.

Venues The coast is known for its wide range of leisure venues – particularly the distinctive open-air events and makuti entertainment spots – as well as for the friendliness of local people. The range of amusements includes activities for the whole family such as cinemas, bowling alleys and purposebuilt water parks. Those looking to enjoy fine cuisine are spoilt for choice in Kenya thanks to its wide assortment of top-quality restaurants and dhow dinner cruises. There is no shortFine dining

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age of nightlife, either, with bars, clubs, casinos and discos offering the kind of ‘wine and dance’ entertainment that is becoming so popular with visitors. The major towns offer ready access to the latest shows, from stand-up comedy routines to legendary productions of music and dance as well as a fine choice of nightclubs, jazz bars, heavy metal clubs and a vibrant ‘rave’ scene.

To meet the growing demand for sports enterVibrant nightlife tainment, the selection of activities is expanding all the time. Some of the most popular are golf, car rallies, marathon events, go-karting, mountain biking and water sports.

Entertainment In addition, most hotels on the coast offer conference facilities and entertainment for corporate clients. Under the auspices of the Pubs, Entertainment & Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK), entertainers cater to both regional and international tastes. The long-term goal is to put Kenya on the world entertainment map, not only for its beaches and safari parks but also as a memorable and fun experience for a wide range of visitors.

Hobie cats

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ATHLETICS

Kenyan stars dazzle Kenyan on starsworld dazzle athletics stage on world athletics stage T

here can be no doubt that Kenya has emerged as a serious sporting nation whose athletes are widely admired for their world-class achievements. Kenya took its first Olympic gold medals at the 1968 Games in Mexico, where Naftali Temu won the 10,000 metres and the legendary Kipchoge Keino came first in both the 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres. Ever since, Kenya has consistently nurtured and showcased a wealth of athletic talent. As a result, the nation has dominated the world in long and middle distance track events. Acclaimed veterans such as Keino, Nyantika Maiyoro and Ben Jipchohave led the way for the stars of today. It was in 2008 that 18-year-old Pamela Jelimo from Kapsabet became the first sole winner of the Golden League Jackpot, facing off fierce competition to achieve remarkable wins in the 800 metres – in a series of six meets – and winning a cash prize of US$1 million.

With outstanding success in the top five marathons – the Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London and New York – and in the Olympics and World Championships, Kenyan athletes have really made their mark on the international map.

Marathon triumphs To date, Kenyan athletes have won the men’s category of the annual Boston Marathon a record 16 times and the women’s category seven times. There have also been wins for Kenyan athletes at the New York Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, all wins being in the men’s category. In addition, Kenyan men have celebrated wins in the annual London Marathon. The winning ways of Kenyan athletes also extend to African regional competitions. For example, Kenya bagged 16 medals in the 2008 African Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa. There is no question that athletics is a national passion. As well as participating in events, Kenya has organised and hosted various top international athletics competitions including the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa.

Paul Tergat

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GOLF

Wonderful courses Wonderful golfgolfcourses in a great choice of of locations in a great choice locations W

ith golf courses in Nairobi, up-country and at the coast, Kenya has an impressive range of facilities in spectacular locations to tempt lovers of the game. There are more than 40 golf clubs dotted across the country and golfers can choose to play either nine-hole or 18-hole courses. The year-round tropical climate lends itself perfectly to golf. Average temperature is 18°C and visitors are guaranteed fine weather. For the most part, courses are well kept. Each has its own unique features and scenery along with difficulty rating and range length. Most of the clubs offer top quality accommodation, making them ideal for serious golfers and those on golfing holidays.

Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club, just 25 minutes’ drive from the centre of Nairobi, is an impressive and popular golfing holiday venue that also plays host to international golf tournaments. The course winds its way through indigenous forests and coffee plantations, offering fine views of Mount Kenya. The par-72 course has 18 challenging holes Bunker shot at Windsor

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– notably the 14th hole, with its blind greens, bunkers and water hazards, and the notorious 18th hole, with its ‘island’ green. In addition to the golf course, there is an impressive five-star hotel offering top-quality accommodation and catering. The club also has floodlit tennis courts, squash courts and a 5 km jogging track.

Karen Golf & Country Club Also within the leafy suburbs of Nairobi is the Karen Golf & Country Club, in the Ngong Hills. The course features impressively maintained fairways and lush greens. The setting is beautiful, with lakes, indigenous trees and flowering shrubs. Karen is an 18-hole championship course, par 72, with a total length of 6,630 metres. This famously challenging course plays host to various events including the Kenya Open. Popular with Nairobi’s elite, the course has a beautiful clubhouse as well as smart tennis courts and a pro shop.

Muthaiga Golf Club One of the oldest courses in the country, the Muthaiga Golf Club is rightly considered a premier golf destination. Reopened in 2004


Water hazard

after major refurbishment, it has new greens and a beautiful layout stretching over 18 holes (par 71, 6,893 yards) with beautifully landscaped bunkers and scenic lakes. This championship course is suitable for both professional and amateur players. The Muthaiga Golf Club hosts the main event in the nation’s golfi ng calendar, the Kenya Open. The course, which is also home to the Kenya Golf Union, features a tastefully designed and luxurious clubhouse along with and top quality catering. Th is is an exclusive members’ club, but visitors are welcome to play by prior arrangement.

Mount Kenya Safari Club The Mount Kenya Safari Club is a charming upcountry course on the slopes of Mount Kenya, on the equator, 190 km from Nairobi. This is a nine-hole course, par 27 and 2,184 metres in total, featuring several water hazards. While not the most challenging of courses, it is certainly worth playing if only for the beauty of its scenery, with stunning views of Mount Kenya from all parts of the course.

Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort

Nakuru Golf Club The Nakuru Golf Club is located 160 km from Nairobi on the slopes of the extinct Menengai volcano. As the only uphill course in Kenya, it is undeniably challenging to play, but enjoyable, too. This is a par-73 championship course with 18 holes well laid out over 6,802 yards. The course offers beautiful views of Lake Nakuru and its millions of flamingoes as well as the Menengai crater and, in the distance, the escarpments of the Rift Valley. The club plays host to the annual Coronation Trophy.

Leisure Lodge Golf Club Offering a memorable golfing experience on the coast is the Leisure Lodge Golf Club at Diani, which has become a favourite with holidaymakers staying at hotels in the area. The club itself is part of the Leisure Lodge Resort, which offers luxurious accommodation and catering facilities. With a total length of 6,084 metres, this finely maintained 18-hole championship course plays host to some of the region’s top amateur golf fi xtures including the Nine Nation Zone VI Championship. Golf carts are available for hire from the club.

In a fine location overlooking Lake Naivasha, with the extinct Mount Longonot as a backdrop, the Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort features a demanding 18-hole course with lush fairways, well nurtured greens and tricky slopes on the 18th green. With a total length of 6,580 yards, this par-72 course offers fine views of the surrounding scenery and a quiet atmosphere. The resort also has a driving range, practice greens, a pro shop, two tennis courts, a bowling green and a swimming pool. The lodge itself offers top quality accommodation.

Championship courses

23


BALLOONING

Up, upUp, and away… up and

away…

W

ith its endless rolling savannah and a vast population of plains game, it is no surprise that Masai Mara National Reserve is the most famous area in which to view Africa’s extensive wildlife. Flying high

The spectacular migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra occurs every year between the Mara and the Serengeti plains. And there is no better way for visitors to enjoy exhilarating aerial views of this magnificent natural phenomenon than in a hot air balloon.

First rays Take-off is before dawn, allowing guests to catch the first rays of the morning sun as it rises over the magical landscape and then to watch the animals stir in their natural habitat. Hour-long flights offer excellent aerial sightings of the game and of the amazing topography below. From time to time the balloon descends for close-up views of the animals. After touching down, guests are invited to a champagne breakfast in the bush.

DOLPHIN WATCHING

Kisite Marine Kisite Marine Park Park andReserve Reserve and T

here’s a treat in store for lovers of marine wildlife at the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Reserve, on Kenya’s south coast, where over 120 bottlenose dolphins can be found between August and March. The clean, warm, tropical waters off the Kenyan coast make viewing all the more enjoyable. The best opportunity for sightings can be found in the mornings when the ocean is calm.

24

The Malindi and Watamu Marine Reserves also provide great Bottlenose dolphin opportunities for dolphin sightings between September and February. However, guests are advised to contact the marine reserve team to check on sea conditions before their visit.


KENYA TEA

Tea plantation

Kenya’s finest Kenya’s fi nes t brewbrew key source of revenue is isa akey source of revenue B

days. About 60 per cent is produced by smallholder subsectors, with the remaining 40 per cent being produced by larger plantations.

Kenya tea is shipped to destinations in Europe and Asia as well as throughout Africa. Bulk exports of processed tea are traded through the Mombasa Tea Auction, the second-largest of its kind in the world.

After the tea has been carefully harvested, the two young top leaves and the bud are picked, fermented, rolled and dried in a process known as CTC (cut, tear and curl). This procedure yields excellent results for Kenya black tea, which is recognised for its own taste rather than as a blend.

lack tea is a major foreign exchange earner for Kenya, which is the world’s third-largest producer and the leading exporter of that product.

High altitude Tea is grown at high altitude in the Great Rift Valley. The tea bushes flourish in the rich volcanic soil, which has a constant supply of moisture that is attributed to evaporation from Lake Victoria. Being grown in a tropical climate, Kenya tea is harvested all year round, in cycles of seven to 14

The meticulous process generates a product that has more infusion and consequently brews stronger, brisker and brighter tea. Over the years, Kenya tea has earned an international reputation for its distinct aromatic flavour and bright colour. A testimony to the high quality of African tea is that the beverage is a firm favourite among the Kenyan population. A natural drink with no additives or preservatives and no artificial colours added, Kenya tea is not only full of flavour but also healthy and refreshing.

25


CULTURE & HERITAGE

Kenyans maintain Kenyans maintain culturaltraditions traditions their their richrich cultural D

iversity is woven into the cultural fabric of Kenya, with its 42 ethnic groups of people and a lifestyle tradition that has been passed down the generations. ‘Heritage’ encompasses more than just people’s cultural beliefs and practices; it also includes artefacts, monuments and events from centuries ago, all of which have shaped the wealth and identity of today’s Kenya.

The vibrant Maasai tribe is Kenya’s best-known cultural group. Clad in colourful shukas, these tall, bejewelled people have preserved their traditional way of life, uninfluenced by cultural trends elsewhere. Members of the Maasai wear lush arrays of beaded ornaments, colour their hair red and decorate it with finely plaited sisal fibre. These nomadic people live in bomas and work as goat and cattle herders. In Maasai society, wealth and success are measured in terms of herd ownership. This way of life extends to their diet, which consists mainly of cattle and goat products such as meat, blood and milk.

Initiated Maasai men are divided by age into groups: child, junior warrior, senior warrior, junior elder and senior elder. The young men must be initiated into warriorhood before they can marry. It is also traditional practice that both men and women are circumcised.

Maasai moran

26

Maasai people have a strong belief in God, whom they call Enkai. Like most Kenyans, they are warm and welcoming and enjoy entertaining visitors with song and dance as well as high jumping from a standing position, a traditional sport for Maasai men.


Dhow excursion

The lesser-known cultural island town of Lamu is home to the Swahili people, descendants of the various tribes – Portuguese, Omani Arab and Turkish – that once occupied the coastal region of Kenya. These cultures have mingled to form an authentic Lamu way of life that has endured for more than seven centuries.

Narrow streets Today, visitors can see many signs of Lamu’s rich history. The pace of life is slow in this town, where the streets are as narrow and winding as when they were first laid. The only ways of getting about are on foot or by donkey as there are no vehicles on Lamu island. Visitors can make an ocean excursion in an Arab dhow or go and see isolated villages set in coconut and mango plantations. For a real taste of local history, Lamu has three museums. The building that houses the Lamu Museum dates from 1821 and served as the island’s prison from 1910 to 1984. It now showcases exhibits of Swahili material culture. Tourists can also visit the German Post Office Museum and the Swahili Museum.

Since 2001 the old town area of Lamu has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site – and it is easy to see why. This beautiful town is bordered by a pristine beach, while the houses and other buildings are built of stone and mangrove wood with decorative verandas, balconies and intricately carved wooden doors. The people of Lamu have a deep respect for their culture and the town has long been a centre for Muslim festivals and cultural education for a wide range of people. Other Kenyan tribes include the Kikuyu, who occupy the agricultural highland areas around Mount Kenya; the Kalenjin, occupying the Rift Valley Province, home of many of Kenya’s exceptional middle and long distance athletes; and the Luo, settled around Lake Victoria, who have kept alive their fishing tradition. Many Kenyan tribes live on the coast. These culturally diverse people include the Samburu, Borana and Mijikenda tribes.

27


MOUNT KENYA

Majestic Mount Kenya Kenya Majestic Mount off ersaa thrilling challenge offers thrilling challenge to climbers to climbers D

ominating the surrounding landscape is Mount Kenya, the second-highest mountain in Africa, which stands majestically within Mount Kenya National Park. The peak of this famous 17,057 ft mountain can be seen from many miles away. The mountain is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site while the national park – standing at an altitude of 3,200 metres and covering an area of 715 sq km – is designated an international biosphere reserve by the same organisation. Mount Kenya has three distinct peaks: Batian, the highest, at 17,057 ft; Nelion at 17,021 ft; and Point Lenana at 16,355 ft. Some idea of this mountain’s great height can be gauged from the fact that, although its northern flanks lie across the equator, the peaks are permanently covered in snow.

Volcanic eruption The mountain was formed three million years ago by a volcanic eruption that opened the East African rift. It is believed to have been covered by a huge ice cap that resulted in glacial erosion. This resulted in the mountain having three peaks instead of one and created the many valleys that run down from the centre. Gradual erosion of the mountain slopes by transition from glaciated cap to fluvial valleys can be observed in the deep vees on the lower slopes and the shallower U-shapes higher up. The mountain has 11 glaciers, each with its own name. Fresh snow at the peak

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Sunrise over Kenya

An expedition up Mount Kenya involves a challenging but rewarding climb with breathtaking views of jagged cliffs, glaciers, rolling slopes covered in alpine vegetation, and beyond all that the beautiful snow-capped peaks. Batian and Nelion can be reached only by skilled mountaineers, while anyone who is physically fit can reach Point Lenana.

Established routes Good hiking and trekking routes have been established. The mountain’s ecosystem features several rivers with stunning waterfalls and valleys. Climbers have an exceptional view of the lush bands of vegetation, with dense rainforests on the lower slopes and tarns and meadows higher up. The lower slopes are covered in thickets of bamboo and rainforest. There are eight vegetation bands from the base to the highest point of the mountain. Some plant species here are found in no other part of the world. There are also species of lobelias, senecios and the rock hyrax. Water drains from the higher slopes through porous rocks. When it reaches the ground, it trickles back up to give springs of clear mineral water. This region is an important catchment area, supplying water to many parts of the country. There are two main rivers: the Tana, the largest river in Kenya and its main source of hydroelectricity; and the Ewaso Ng’iro North River, which draws water from tributaries and streams in the Mount Kenya ecosystem.

The mountain is also an essential source of water for the surrounding areas of rich volcanic soil that are ideal for agriculture. The local communities grow tea and coffee, both of which are vital exports. Mount Kenya National Park is endowed with captivating wildlife attractions that include three of the big five – elephant, leopard and buffalo. The park is also home to Sykes monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, albino zebra, antelope, hyena, bush pig, olive baboon, giant forest hog, white-tailed mongoose and black-fronted duiker. This destination is excellent for birdwatching, too, with over 130 species. Birds found here include the variable sunbird and species of eagle. Lovers of adventure can opt to camp on the slopes. There are huts for climbers and bunkhouses along the trek routes, while more discerning travellers have a choice of lodges. Easily accessible to visitors, the park is 175 km from Nairobi. Recommended routes by road are via Chogoria on the Embu to Meru road or the Nanyuki to Isiolo road. There is an airstrip within reasonable distance at Nanyuki.

29


ROCK CLIMBING

Spectacular Mount Kenya

Mountain parks a paradise Mountain parks off eroffer a paradise for rock-climbers for rock-climbers Mount Kenya Mount Kenya, the second-highest mountain in Africa, measures 5,199 metres at its highest point. A vigorous hike up the slopes is rewarded by spectacular views of scenic cliffs, alpine vegetation, glaciers and rolling slopes, with the snow-capped peaks beyond. The two highest peaks, Batian and Nelion (5,188 metres), can be reached only by skilled mountaineers, while anyone who is physically fit can reach Point Lenana at 4,985 metres.

30

The mountain is renowned for its hiking and trekking routes, featuring well established campsites. They provide fine views of the rivers, waterfalls and valleys. During the ascent, climbers will observe eight bands of vegetation, with thick bamboo and rainforests at the base and tarns and alpine meadows on the higher slopes.

Mount Longonot National Park The dormant volcanic mountain in Mount Longonot National Park is 2,886 metres high and was created 3,000 years ago by the same volcanic


eruptions that produced the Great Rift Valley. The result was a mountain featuring a deep crater at its peak while its slopes are riddled with canyons. Hiking and rock-climbing are popular here. Visitors can enjoy splendid views of the geysers and steam clouds that emerge through vents in the solid lava as well as fine panoramas of Lake Naivasha and the Rift Valley below. The vast crater of Mount Longonot is covered in dense vegetation, home to many kinds of wildlife.

Mount Elgon National Park Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano standing 4,200 metres at its highest peak. The mountain is located in a well managed national park that provides tour guides for mountain hikers. The special features of Mount Elgon include the huge caldera at the summit, a flat-topped basalt column and a lava tube cave, 60 metres wide, that is frequently visited by elephants for salt licks.

Chyulu hills

Rainfall seeps through the porous rock to form water underground. This water percolates back up to create the beautiful Mzima Springs, which feed into the Tsavo River. The formation also includes a 13 km long lava tube, the Leviathan Cave and the Shetani Lava Flow.

Hell’s Gate National Park Hell’s Gate National Park embraces wide-open dry ranches. In contrast with other national parks in Kenya, visitors are allowed to drive, cycle or walk through Hell’s Gate and enjoy its wildlife and diverse geology. Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower are volcanic plugs and the two are prominent features of the park. Other features include hot springs and obsidian rocks. Rockclimbing is a popular activity in the national park. It is the only park in the country where cycling is allowed. Other good places for rock-climbing in Kenya are the Chaimu and Ngulia Hills in Tsavo West National Park.

The Chyulu hills are a perfect place for rock-climbing with majestic views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Bordering the vast Tsavo National Park, the Chyulu is a cluster of volcanic rock formations, the youngest of which are only about 500 years old.

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DIRECTORY OF NATIONAL PARKS & RESERVES

Park Parkindex index & route planner & route planner

CENTRAL REGION 1 2 3

Page

Aberdare National Park Mount Kenya National Park Mount Longonot National Park

34 35 36

NAIROBI REGION 4 5 6

Nairobi Animal Orphanage Nairobi National Park Nairobi Safari Walk

36 37 38

COAST REGION 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest National Res. Kisite Mpunguti Marine Nat. Park & Res. Kiunga Marine National Reserve Malindi Marine National Park & Res. Mombasa Marine National Park & Res. Shimba Hills National Reserve Tana Primate National Reserve Watamu Marine National Park & Res.

38 39 39 40 40 41 41 42

EASTERN REGION 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Bisanadi National Reserve Buffalo Springs & Shaba Kora National Reserve Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Meru National Park Mwea National Reserve Mwingi National Reserve Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park Samburu National Reserve

42 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47

NORTH RIFT REGION 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

32

Laikipia Marsabit National Park Nasolot National Reserve Ol Pejeta Conservancy Sibiloi National Park South and Central Island National Parks South Turkana National Reserve

48 48 49 49 50 50 51

SOUTH RIFT REGION 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Hell’s Gate National Park Lake Nakuru National Park Lemek Conservancy Mara North Conservancy Mara Triangle Masai Mara National Reserve Olare Orok & Motorogi Conservancy Ol Kinyei Conservancy Siana Wildlife Trust

Page 51 52 53 54 54 55 56 56 57

SOUTHERN REGION 40 41 42 43

Amboseli National Park Chyulu Hills National Park Tsavo East National Park Tsavo West National Park

58 59 60 61

WESTERN REGION 44 45 46 47 48 49

Kakamega National Reserve Kisumu Impala Sanctuary Mount Elgon National Reserve Ndere Island National Park Ruma National Park Saiwa Swamp National Park

62 62 63 63 64 64


28 Lake Turkana

Moyale

29

KENYA

Lodwar 29

25

30

26

Wajir MOUNT ELGON

46

Kitae

49 24

16

23

Eldoret 44

19 45

Kisumu

MOUNT KENYA

18 2

47 Lake Victoria

48 33 34

21

1

32

35

15

27

31

17

Garissa

20

3 22

36 39 38

NAIROBI

4

6 5

37 13 9

Lamu 40

Kipini

42 41

Ungama Bay

Malindi Watamu 7

Kilifi

43

Mombasa

10

14

Tarmac Roads Murram Earth Roads Railway Line

11

12 8

INDIAN OCEAN Pemba Island

33


CENTRAL REGION

Aberdare National Aberdare National Park Park Majestic peaks, moorlands and falls

T

he Aberdares is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100 km north-south between Nairobi and Thomson’s Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999 metres) and Kinangop (3,906 metres), separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000 metres. The topography is diverse, with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes, and there are many clear streams and waterfalls. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of the Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.

Contact details

PO Box 22, Nyeri Tel: +254 61 (0)550 24 121, 24 124 Email: aberdare@wananchi.com www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Central highlands, west of Mount Kenya; Nyeri District; Central Province

Distance from Nairobi 160 km

34

Lesatima Peak, Kinangop Peak, waterfalls, walks in the moorlands, Twin Hills, Elephant Hills and Table Mountains. One of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries. Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession to the British throne at Treetops lodge. The Kimathi Hideout/Mau Mau caves.

Wildlife

The park is home to most of the larger mammals, including some black rhino. The park has endangered species including the rare bongo, giant forest hog, packs of the now very rare wild dogs and endemic mole rat and mole shrew. Other game includes leopard, serval, endemic bird species, reptiles and insects.

Access

The national park lies mainly above the tree line, running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) contour, with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the salient area near Nyeri, with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 metres) contour. The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the national park. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest, whose management is under a memorandum of understanding between KWS and the Forest Department.

Major attractions

Size

767 sq km

Park fees

For more information go to www. kws.go.ke

Climate

Mist and heavy rainfall occur throughout much of the year, with precipitation varying from around 1,000 mm yearly on the north-western slopes to as much as 3,000 mm in the south-east.

Roads: The park is readily accessible on tarmac from Nyeri and Naro Moru on the eastern side (160 km from Nairobi). A road crosses the park to connect with another from Naivasha and North Kinangop in the west. Main towns from which the park can be approached are Nyeri (154 km from Nairobi), Nyahururu (188 km from Nairobi) and Naivasha (87 km from Nairobi). Airstrips: Mweiga Airstrip is next to the park headquarters while

Nyeri Airstrip is 12 km from Mweiga headquarters.

Accommodation

Lodges: The Ark and The Aberdare Country Club managed by Fairmont Hotels; Outspan and Treetops managed by Aberdare Safari Hotels Kenya Wildlife Service: Fishing Lodge, Ruhuruini, Tusk Camp, Sapper Hut, KWS Hut at Treetops, KWS HQ bungalow. KWS facilities are self-service.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Mountain climbing, camping, hiking, walking, game viewing, night viewing of wildlife at The Ark and Treetops lodges. Trout fishing is available along the many ice-cold, clear, flowing streams.


CENTRAL REGION

Mount Kenya National Park Mount Kenya National Park Namesake of a nation

M

Contact details

ount Kenya is an impressive extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands. The mountain has two main peaks: Batian (5,200 metres) and Nelion (5,188 metres). Its slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland, giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mount Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems.

PO Box 753, Nyeri Tel: +254 (0)61 55 645, 55 201 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer.

Location

East of the Rift Valley. Mount Kenya lies about 140 km north-north-east of Nairobi with its northern flanks across the equator.

Distance from Nairobi 175 km

Size

2,800 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

For more information go to www. kws.go.ke

Climate

Climate, flora and fauna on Mount Kenya vary with altitude.

Major attractions

Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species

of animals, high altitude adapted plains game. Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.

Wildlife

Giant forest hog, tree hyrax, whitetailed mongoose, elephant, black rhino, suni, black-fronted duiker, mole-rat and over 130 recorded species of birds.

Access

Roads: The park can be reached on the Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or the Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The park is also accessible via Chogoria on the Embu-Meru road, about 200 km north of Nairobi. Airstrips: Closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.

KWS self-catering accommodation: Batian Guesthouse and Sirimon Bandas. There are also various bunkhouses and climbing huts on the climbing route.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Mountain climbing, wildlife viewing, camping, cave exploration.

The park contains a variety of habitats including higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial moraines. The park was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1997 and is also a biosphere reserve. It covers 715 sq km and includes the peaks consisting of all the ground above 3,200 metres, with two small salients extending lower to 2,450 metres along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is the 2,095 sq km Mount Kenya National Reserve.

Accommodation

Lodges: Serena Mountain Lodge. Various lodges offer accommodation in the region.

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CENTRAL REGION

MountLongonot Longonot National Park Park Mount National Sheer adventure

Contact details

PO Box 234-20117, Naivasha Tel: +254 (0)50 50 255 Email: hellsgatenp@kenyweb.com www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Naivasha, Rift Valley Province

Distance from Nairobi 90 km

T

Size

52 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Hot and dry

Major attractions

Extinct volcano and crater forest, scenic landscape, views of Lake Naivasha and the Great Rift Valley.

Access

Road: The park is accessible via tarmac road from Nairobi. From Naivasha town, take the lower (old) Nairobi-Naivasha road in the direction of Nairobi until you reach the Longonot railway level crossing. Turn right after the crossing and follow the track for 4 km to the Park Gate and KWS offices. Vehicles may be left in a car park 1 km after the gate.

Accommodation

he name Longonot is derived from the Maasai word Oloonong’ot meaning mountains of many spurs or steep ridges. Longonot park covers 52 sq km most of it being occupied by Mount Longonot – a young volcano rising to 2,776 metres above sea level. The sides of the mountain have beautiful V-shaped valleys and ridges. The stony soils have little vegetation but the crater has an impenetrable forest. Due to the nature of the terrain Mount Longonot has no roads and visitors hike to the top and rim of the crater. range of accommodation options are available in nearby Naivasha, and there are lodges and hotels around Lake Naivasha. Camping available.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Although there is no accommodation available in the park, a wide

Finest views of Lake Naivasha and the Great Rift Valley, hiking.

NAIROBI REGION

Nairobi Animal Animal Orphanage Nairobi Orphanage Refuge and rehabilitation centre for orphaned or sick animals

N

airobi Animal Orphanage, the oldest animal orphanage in Kenya, is set amid the lush vegetation of Nairobi National Park.

Climate

Established in 1964 as a refuge and rehabilitation centre for wild animals found abandoned or injured in Kenya, this unique facility is visited by over 200,000 people each year.

Major attractions

Animals received at the facility undergo a medical examination, followed by treatment where called for, before entering a feeding and rehabilitation programme. Th is important educational and training facility in the only wildlife protected area in the world to be located in a capital city and often plays host to more than 20 animal and bird species.

January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot and wet, July to October is very warm and wet.

Contact details

PO Box 42076 Tel: +254 (0)20 602 121, 603 769 Fax: +254 (0)20 600 324 Email: education@kws.org

Wildlife

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Lion, cheetah, hyena, jackal, serval, very rare Sokoke cats, warthog, ostrich, leopard, various monkeys, baboon, buff alo. Birds: Parrot, guinea fowl, crowned crane.

Location

Access

Contact person

Nairobi Province

Distance from Nairobi 10 km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

36

Bonding with orphaned animals; close-up views of animals; animal adoption programme.

Roads: Only about 7 km from the city centre, the animal orphanage is easily accessible on tarmac roads, off Lang’ata Road, Kenya Wildlife Service head office.

Accommodation

Visitors to the Animal Orphanage can stay in various lodges and hotels in Nairobi.

Best time to visit All year round.

Activities

Close-up viewing of wildlife


NAIROBI REGION

Nairobi National Nairobi National Park Park Th e world’s only wildlife national park in a capital city

N

airobi National Park is unique in being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. Not surprisingly, the park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi.

Contact details

PO Box 42076 Tel: +254 (0)20 602 121, 603 769 Fax: +254 (0)20 600 324 Email: nnp@kws.org www.kws.org

Climate

January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot and wet, July to October is very warm and wet.

Major attractions

10 km

Black and white rhinoceros; diverse birdlife; large predators such as lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah; large herbivores such as eland, buff alo, zebra and wildebeest; Ivory Burning Site Monument; walking trails at hippo pools; Nairobi Safari Walk and Orphanage; spacious picnic sites.

Size

Wildlife

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Nairobi Province

Distance from Nairobi

117 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Over 80 recorded species including rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile and hippo (no elephants). Birds: Over 400 recorded species.

Access

Roads: The park is only about 10 km from the city centre and is easily accessible on tarmac roads, mainly via Lang’ata Road.

Accommodation

No accommodation in the reserve. Visitors can stay in Nairobi, which offers a choice of accommodation.

Best time to visit All year round.

Activities

Wildlife viewing, picnicking, camping event and wedding sites. Ideal for photo session.

The park also serves many local residents. It has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south. There are also stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Manmade dams have added a further habitat, suitable for certain species of birds and aquatic life forms. The dams also attract water-dependent herbivores in the dry season. The park has a diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However, all species are not always present and some are seasonal. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily in late March and April. Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries. It is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the former range and in other sanctuaries. Owing to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat. South of the park are the AthiKapiti Plains and the Kitengela migration and dispersal area. These are vital areas for dispersal of herbivores during the rains and they concentrate in the park in the dry season.

37


NAIROBI REGION

Nairobi Safari Nairobi Safari Walk Walk T Th e closest you can get to the wild Climate

January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot and wet, July to October is very warm and wet.

Contact details

PO Box 42076, Nairobi Tel: +254 (0)20 602 121, 603 769 Fax: +254 (0)20 00 324 Email: nsw@kws.org www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Wildlife

10 km

Lion, cheetah, leopard, crocodile, pygmy hippo, zebra, buffalo, colobus monkey, ostrich, bongo, oryx, tortoises, turtle and rhino. Birds: Wide variety of birds and insects.

Size

Access

Location

Nairobi Province

Distance from Nairobi

117 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

For information go to www.kws.go.ke

The facility contains simulated forests, wetlands and savannahs, giving visitors an opportunity to learn about these valuable resources and how they can contribute to conservation. On display, too, are plants and animals that are locally extinct or threatened.

Major attractions

Th ree major ecosystems (wetlands, savannah and forest); variety of mammals, reptiles, insects and birds; the boardwalk; Children’s Museum.

Roads: Nairobi Safari Walk is about 7 km from the city centre and is easily accessible on tarmac roads. Located off Lang’ata Road, Kenya Wildlife Service head office.

he conservation-based recreation facility, the Nairobi Safari Walk, combines creative landscape design, unique wildlife species and detailed interpretation and gives it a supreme position in tourism and conservation education.

Accommodation

Choice of lodges and hotels in Nairobi.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Walking safaris, wildlife viewing, Children’s Museum, guided walk, talks and lectures, tree identification, nursery techniques.

The Safari Walk is a showcase for Kenya’s parks and reserves, allowing visitors to discover what they can expect to see across the country. Introductory talks by naturalists can be arranged. Visitors can see a sample of the country’s rich animal life including the rare bongo, white rhino and albino zebra as well as cats, antelopes and primates. It is also home to some 150 species of local trees. With its unique design, the Safari Walk is a focus of interest for families, students, tourists and others.

COAST REGION

Arabuko Sokoke ForestResNational Arabuko-Sokoke Forest National erve Last large remnant of lowland coastal tropical forests

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

A

rabuko-Sokoke was declared a Crown forest in 1943. Part of the forest was designated a strict nature reserve in the late 1960s. The reserve is a few kilometres inland, between Kilifi and Malindi, 122 km north of Mombasa. It is the largest surviving fragment of the tropical forests that once covered much of the East African coast and an important habitat for endemic and endangered birds, insects and mammal species. The forests have easy trails and are ideal for birders. Some reptile species are found here including boomslang, green mamba, rock python, forest cobra, sand lizard and day gecko. Bird species include Sokoke pipit, Amani sunbird, Fischer’s turaco, Clarke’s weaver (endemic to Kenya) and golden woodpecker.

For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Average annual rainfall ranges from 900 mm in the dry and scrubby north-west to 1,100 mm in the east.

Contact details

PO Box 109, Malindi Tel: +254 042 3246 Email: kwsarabuko@africaonline.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Coastal Strip, Kilifi District

Endemic bird species, butterfl ies, remnant coastal forest. The park is the largest existing fragment of the tropical forests that covered much of the East African coast. It is an important habitat for endemic and endangered birds, insects, butterflies and mammal species.

Wildlife

122 km from Mombasa. Can be reached by air via Malindi or Mombasa airports.

Golden-rumped elephant shrew, Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose, Ader’s duiker, waterbuck, bushbuck, civet, blotched genet, caracal, Sykes’ monkey, several bird species.

Size

Access

Distance from Mombasa

Forest reserve covers 420 sq km

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Major attraction

Roads: Access via Mombasa-

Malindi road, 18 km from Malindi and 122 km from Mombasa. Air: Malindi and Mombasa airports.

Accommodation

No accommodation in the reserve. There is plenty of accommodation along the coast to suit all budget levels.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities:

Birdwatching, butterfly watching, walking trails, game viewing.


COAST REGION

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park & Reserve

Enchanted underwater realm

Location

Kwale District, Coast Province. The marine park is 6 km from the Kenyan coast (at Shimoni) and 8 km north of the Tanzanian border.

Contact details

PO Box 55, Ukunda, Kwale District Tel: +254 (0)40 52 027 Email: kisitenp@africaonline.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Distance from Mombasa 120 km

Distance from Nairobi 605 km

Major attractions

Coral gardens. Marine life: Over 250 recorded species including fish, dolphin, sea turtle, whale, coral, sea grass and gastropod. Birds: Many seabirds in large nesting colonies and internationally significant numbers of crab-plover and roseate tern.

Access

Size

Roads: 85 km from Mombasa via Diani and Kwale.

39 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

The coast is humid with mean annual temperatures from 22 to 34째C. Annual rainfall is about 500 mm.

Accommodation

The Shimoni Bandas

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Swimming, sailing, snorkelling, diving, a picnic site, information centre.

K

isite-Mpunguti Marine National Park & Reserve is located on the south coast off Shimoni and south of Wasini Island in Kwale District on the south Kenyan coast near the Tanzanian border. The complex embraces a marine area with four small islands surrounded by a coral reef. Kisite island is a small waterless coral island, 8 km offshore in the marine park. Coral platforms around the raised central portion are exposed at low tide. The three other coral islets in the park, Mpunguti ya Juu, Mpunguti ya Chini and Liwe la Jahazi, lie closer to the larger Wasini Island. They are scrub covered and support no significant wildlife or birds. The surrounding waters have well developed coral gardens and a large variety of fish.

Kiunga Marine National Kiunga Marine National Reserve Re An enchanted underwater world

K

iunga Marine National Reserve incorporates a chain of about 50 calcareous offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago, running for about 60 km off the northern coast of Kenya and next to the Dodori and Boni national reserves on the mainland. These coral islands lie inshore of the fringing reef. They vary in size from a few hundred square metres to 100 hectares and more. Their walls rise sheer from the seabed and are usually deeply undercut on the landward side. The larger islands and the more sheltered inner islands are covered with low, tangled, thorny vegetation including grass, aloes and creepers. The small outer islands provide nesting sites for migratory seabirds. The reserve is home to valuable coral reefs, sea grass meadows and extensive mangrove forests, with their attendant biodiversity, as well as a refuge for sea turtles and dugongs.

Contact details

PO Box 82, Lamu Tel: +254 (0) 42 633 080, 633 194 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Size

270 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Location

Climate

Lamu District, Coast Province 372 km

The coast is humid with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22 to 34째C. Annual rainfall is about 500 mm.

Distance from Nairobi

Major attractions

Distance from Malindi

976 km

Coral reefs, sand dunes, Kiwayu Island

Marine life

Reptiles/fish: Sea turtles, olive ridley and leatherback turtles, reef fish. Insects/arthropods: Lobster, sea urchin, sea star, crab, mosquito.

Access

Roads: Kiunga is a remote, unspoilt village on the mainland about 150 km east of Lamu.

Airstrips: One at Dodori National Reserve. By sea: Visitors can go by dhow or speedboat to Kiwayu Island from Lamu.

Accommodation

There is currently no accommodation in the reserve.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wind surfi ng, snorkelling, waterskiing, sunbathing, diving.

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COAST REGION

Malindi National Park MalindiMarine Marine National Park & Res erve Africa’s oldest marine park, magic islands, zebra fi sh

Contact details

PO Box 109, Malindi Tel: +254 (0)42 31 554, 20 845 Email: malindimarine@jambo.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

North Coast, Malindi

Distance from Mombasa 118 km

Size

213 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

The coast is humid with mean temperatures from 22-34°C. Rainfall is about 500 mm per annum

Major attractions

Glass-bottomed boat tours, coral gardens, boat rides, diving, snorkelling, diving, ocean sports, under-

M

water adventures, educational tours, picnic and island barbecues.

Wildlife

Turtles: Green, hawksbill, olive ridley, loggerhead. Green and hawksbill turtle breed in the Park; Fishes: Over 300 species of fish including: angelfish, barracuda, butterfly fish, goatfish, fusiliers, emperors, groupers, grunt/ sweetlips, jacks, parrotfish, rabbit fish, sharks, snappers, surgeon fish, triggerfish and wrasses; Invertebrates: At least 135 species of gastropods and 12 species of echinoids including: clams, crown of thorns, lobsters, octopus, sea anemone, sea cucumber, sea stars, sea urchins, crabs and shells; Benthic cover: 200 species of algae. A total of 55 genera and 145 species of hard coral have been recorded on the north reef; Corals: Boulder coral, organ pipe coral, sea grass, stag horn coral; Birds: Variety of migrant shore and terrestrial birds; Mammals: dolphins.

Access

Roads: 118 km tarmac road from Mombasa to Malindi Airstrip: Malindi Airport

Accommodation

There are no lodges in the park. Visitors can stay in KWS self-catering accommodation or Malindi. Camping is available.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wind surfi ng, snorkelling, water skiing, sunbathing, diving, swimming.

alindi Marine National Park and Reserve was the fi rst marine protected area in Kenya, established in 1968 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man & Biosphere Reserve programme of Unesco in 1979. The park is located south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek. It neighbours the Gede ruins and Arabuko-Sokoke forest. The park is enveloped by a national reserve and a 100 ft strip of coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar to Watamu. The reserve extends 3.5 nautical miles to seaward. The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral, sea grass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles and shorebirds. The fringing reef is close to shore and exposed during low tide, but drops gradually to a sea grass bed that descends precipitously to the deep Barracuda Channel. North Reef has developed offshore and is the main focus of tourism activity.

Mombasa Marine National Park Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve Contact details

Tel: +254 (0)41 231 2744/5 Email: info.kws@kwscoast.org or mombasamarine@kwscoast.org www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Mombasa, 8 km from city

Distance from Nairobi

B

oth the park and reserve are the most highly utilised among marine protected areas. Their coastline is heavily developed with tourist facilities. Only marine park within a city and the only marine park to offer wreck diving and also marine wedding facilities. Various agents offer boats for hire to get into the Marine Park. Many facilities for water sports. Ideal location for diving with gear readily available from water sports desks.

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487 km

Size

Park is 10 sq km while the reserve is over 200 sq km.

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

The coast is humid with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22-34°C. Rainfall is about 500 mm per annum. The climatic conditions are hot and humid.

Major attractions

Beach, coral gardens, dive sites

Wildlife

Prolific marine life includes crabs, corals, sea urchins, jellyfish, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. Different varieties of coral species comprise of acropora, turbinaria and porites.

Access

Roads: From Nairobi mainly use the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway

Air: 45 minute fl ight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Mombasa

Accommodation

There is currently no accommodation in the reserve. Visitors can stay in Mombasa where there are various accommodation options.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wind surfi ng, snorkelling, water skiing, sunbathing, diving.


COAST REGION

Shimba Hills National Shimba Hills National Reserve Re Last of the coastal rainforests, sanctuary of the sable antelope

sea breezes and frequent mist and cloud in the early morning. Annual rainfall is 855 to 1,682 mm. Mean annual temperature is 24.2°C.

Contact details

PO Box 30, Kwale Tel: +254 (0)40 4159, 4166 Email: sable@africaonline.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

The reserve is 33 km south of Mombasa in the Kwale District of Coast Province.

Size

300 sq km

Park fees (residents and nonresidents) Go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Climate is hot and moist, but cooler than that at the coast, with strong

Major attractions

Scenic landscape comprising hills and valleys extending beyond the reserve boundaries; coastal rainforest; Sheldrick’s Falls; elephants.

Wildlife

Sable, elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, reedbuck, hyena, warthog and bush pig, giraffe, leopard and baboon plus Sykes’ monkey, black-faced vervet, Angola colobus monkey, serval, Harvey’s duiker and suni. Introduced species include Maasai giraffe and ostrich.

Accommodation Lodges: Shimba

Kenya Wildlife Service self-catering. Accommodation: Sable Bandas.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, potential for bird shooting outside the reserve, walking safaris.

S

himba Hills was declared a National Forest in 1903. Grassland areas were incorporated in 1924 and subsequent extensions have brought the reserve to its present size. In 1968 most of the reserve was designated the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Two smaller areas to the west adjoining the reserve and almost entirely forested remain as forest reserves; Mkongani North and Mkongani West. A fenced elephant corridor links the Shimba Hills with Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the north. The Shimba Hills is a dissected plateau that ascends steeply from the coastal plains, 30 km southwest of Mombasa and just south of Kwale town. The surrounding escarpment rises from about 120 metres to 300 metres across the bulk of the plateau and as high as 450 metres at Marare and Pengo.

Access

Road: Main access is via Diani, 56 km from Mombasa. Air: The reserve has one airstrip, 1.5 km long. Regular passenger fl ights land at nearby Ukunda airstrip at Diani Beach and at Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

Tana Primate National Reserve Tana Primate National Res erve T

he Tana River National Primate Reserve was gazetted in 1976 to protect the Lower Tana riverine forests and two highly endangered primates, the mangabey and the Tana River red colobus. The reserve consists mainly of patches of riperian forest extending for 16 km along the meandering course of the Lower Tana River, 350 km east of Nairobi and 240 km north of Mombasa. At the time of establishment, the reserve occupied approximately 171 km of forest, dry woodland and savanna habitat on the east and west of the Lower Tana River. 16 patches of forests ranging from 10 to 625 hectares in size fall within the reserve.

Size

Accommodation

Park fees

Best time to visit

171 sq km Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

The climate is generally hot and dry.

Campsites, Bandas, Trails All year round

Activities

Walking, game viewing, birdwatching, primates watching.

Major attractions

River Tana; Tana River Primate National Reserve is a mixture of savannah and riverine forest; game viewing; birdwatching; endangered primate watching.

Contact details

PO Box 4, Hola Tel: +254 (0)46 2035 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Coast Province

Distance from Nairobi

350 km east of Nairobi and 240 km north of Mombasa

Wildlife

Grevy’s zebra, the Maasai and reticulated giraffe, oryx, buff alo and lesser kudu. The river hosts plenty of crocodile and hippo, and the variety of water birds is not to be missed. Endemic red colobus and mangabey monkeys are found here.

Access

Road: The reserve is accessible via the Malindi-Garissa road. Located 250 km north of Mombasa on the Malindi to Garissa road.

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COAST REGION

Watamu National WatamuMarine Marine National Park &Park Reserve A natural paradise

Contact details

PO Box 109, Malindi Tel: +254 (0)42 31 554, 20 845 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

North coast, Watamu town

Distance from Mombasa 120 km

Major attractions

Haven of green turtle; unique coral garden; Mida Creek.

Marine life

Fish, turtles and crabs

Access

Roads: Access is via tarmac road from Mombasa or Malindi. Air: Mombasa or Malindi airports.

Accommodation

No accommodation in the reserve. A wide range of options in Malindi and Watamu.

Size

10 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) Go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

The coast is humid with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22 to 34°C. Annual rainfall is about 500 mm.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Windsurfi ng, snorkelling, waterskiing, sunbathing, diving.

Bisanadi National Bisanadi National Reserve

W

atamu National Park & Reserve is part of a complex of marine and tidal habitats on Kenya’s north coast stretching from Malindi town to beyond the entrance to Mida Creek. It is enclosed by the Malindi Marine National Reserve, which also includes Malindi Marine National Park. Habitats include inter-tidal rock, sand and mud; fringing reefs and coral gardens; beds of sea grass; coral cliffs, platforms and islets; sandy beaches; and Mida Creek mangrove forest. The park was designated a biosphere reserve in 1979. Mida Creek is a large, almost landlocked expanse of saline water, mangrove and inter-tidal mud. Its extensive forests are designated as forest reserves and the extreme western tip of Mida Creek is part of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve.

EASTERN REGION

A true wilderness area without any accommodation and accessible only by 4x4 vehicles

B

isanadi National Reserve acts as a wildlife dispersal area for Meru National Park. It is part of the Meru, Kora, Mwingi and Bisanadi conservation area, adjacent to the north-east boundary of Meru, Isiolo district, covering an area of 606 sq km The vegetation is mainly thorn bushland and thicket with combretum prevailing in the north and commiphora in the south. To the west the combretum merges into terminalia wooded grasslands. The red-flowered parasitic loranthus grows on the branches of acacia reficiens along the rivers. Dense riverine forests of doum palm hyphaena spp. and raffia palm occur along the water courses. Some riverine swamps have sedges cyperus sp. and the grasses echinochloa haplacelada and pennisetim mezianum. On the plains, sehima nervosa, chloris roxburghiana and other species of pennisetum are the dominant grasses.

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Contact details

PO Box 11, Maua Tel: +254 (0)164 20 613 Cell: +254 (0)733 662 439 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Park fees (residents and nonresidents) For more information go to www. kws.go.ke

Climate

The climate is hot and dry

Major attractions

Adjacent to north-east boundary of Meru, Isiolo district

Wilderness habitat, game viewing, fishing and boating on River Tana and Rojewero River. Camping is available.

Distance from Nairobi

Wildlife

348 km

Size

606 sq km

Many species of mammals including lion, elephant, cheetah, rhino, buff alo, hippo and over 400 species of birds.

Access

Roads: The reserve is readily accessible via Meru National Park, Murera Gate.

Accommodation

Visitors can stay in the adjacent Meru National Park where there are various accommodation options. New lodges along Rojewaro River for 2011.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, fishing in River Tana, birdwatching


EASTERN REGION

Buffalo Springs andSprings Shaba Nationa Buffalo and Shaba National Res erve At the foot of Mount Kenya

Referred to as the Hollywood of Africa, Shaba contains such spectacular places as the Sleeping Lion and Tortoise Hill. It has also provided the setting for fi lms such as ‘Walk with Lions’ and ‘Survivor III’.

Access

Contact details

County Council of Isiolo PO Box 36-60300, Isiolo Tel/Fax: +254 (0)64 52 519

Contact person Senior warden

Location

Northern end of Mount Kenya

Distance from Nairobi

300 km (to the gate of Buffalo Springs Reserve).

Wildlife

Besides normal species found elsewhere in Kenya, the area is home to the rare Five Northern Species, consisting of Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk. Shaba is also home to the highly endangered Williamson’s lark. These rare species can only be found in the game reserves.

Roads: From Nairobi through Nanyuki to Isiolo, then 22 km on tarmac road. Air: Buffalo Springs Airstrip is used by daily scheduled fl ights from Nairobi, linking the reserve to other tourism destinations.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, nature walks, entertainment by villagers to provide a flavour of the community and its nomadic lifestyle.

T

he Isiolo district lies at the northern foot of Mount Kenya, rising above the expansive rangelands of northern Kenya. The arid and semi-arid district sits in a divide between the populous agricultural highlands of the Mount Kenya region and the vast lowlands of northern Kenya, inhabited by nomadic pastoralist communities in which wildlife and livestock coexist. Together with the adjacent Samburu, and divided by the River Ewaso Nyiro, the three reserves are popular with tourists because of their diverse wildlife. Unlike other wildlife areas in Kenya’s northern tourist circuit, the Samburu ecosystem supports free-ranging wildlife species both within the three reserves and far into community lands.

Park fees

Contact tour operator

Climate

Temperatures range from 30˚C in the hottest months to 20˚C between July and September. Average annual rainfall is 100 mm to 300 mm and is usually divided into two seasons: short rains in October and November and long rains between February and May.

43


EASTERN REGION

Kora National Kora National ReserveReserve Th e wilderness legacy of legendary lion man George Adamson Location

Coast region, Tana District

Distance from Nairobi

280 km to the north-east of Nairobi

Contact details

PO Box 11, Maua Tel: +254 (0)64 20 613 Cell: +254 (0)733 662 439 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Size

1,787 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Hot and dry with regular rainfall averaging 635-762 mm of rain falling in March-May and November-December. Average temperature range is 24-31°C in the daytime and 15-18°C at night.

Major attractions

Pristine wilderness, inselbergs, Tana River with Adamson’s Falls, Grand Falls and Kora rapids, diverse birdlife, George Adamson’s grave.

Wildlife

Hippo, leopard, lion, caracal and several antelope species.

Access

Roads: Kora is 280 km to north-east of Nairobi. Access is via Th ika to Mwingi, then north-east through Kyuso village. A bridge across the Tana River joins the park with Meru National Park. Airstrips: There is an airstrip used by the reserve’s administration. Another airstrip is about 10 km away on the eastern side.

Accommodation

There is currently no accommodation in the reserve. Visitors can stay in the adjacent Meru National Park, which has various accommodation options.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, rock climbing, fishing in River Tana.

T

he Kora National Park was gazetted as a reserve in 1973 and as a park in 1990. It covers an area of just over 1,700 sq km. Th is triangle of dense woodland and scrub is limited along its 65 km northern boundary by the Tana River, which rises in the highlands between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya before commencing its 700 km passage to the Indian Ocean. The western boundary follows a straight line from Tana River, which borders the Mwingi National Reserve, while the eastern boundary is formed by the Mwitamyisi River. The land surface slopes gently from an altitude of 490 metres in the south-west and about 270 metres in the north-east. Central areas comprise an undulating peneplain through which basement ridges protrude above the surface as rocky inselbergs, the highest of which are Mansumbi (488 metres), Kumbulanwa (450 metres) and Kora Rock (442 metres). The park also has several seasonal rivers.

LewaWildlife Wildlife Conservancy Lewa Conservancy T

he reserve supports over 440 species of birds and more than 70 different mammals. Its rhino population has grown steadily, not only restoring local numbers but allowing black rhino to be reintroduced in regions where they had been long absent. Lewa is a founding member of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It manages black rhino conservation and security in this 90,000-acre reserve, near Lewa, which protects the largest single population of black rhinos in Kenya.

Contact details:

Lewa Downs, Private Bag, Isiolo Tel: +254 (0)64 31 405; +254 (0)722 203 562/3 Email: info@lewa.org www.lewa.org

Hot days, cool nights, sometimes windy, no humidity. Annual rainfall is about 17 inches. Altitude varies between 1,400 and 2,300 metres above sea level.

Contact Person

Major attractions

Location

Wildlife

Senior Warden

Within Laikipia District, on the northern slopes Mount Kenya.

Ngare Ndare Forest.

250 sq km

Contains about 10 per cent of Kenya’s black rhino population and 15 per cent of its white rhino population. Wild dog, cheetah, leopard and lion.

Park fees

Access

Size

Go to www.lewa.org

44

Climate

Road access: From Nanyuki town head north, reaching the IsioloMeru junction after 50 km. Turn left, taking the road to Isiolo. Airstrip: Lewa Downs Airstrip with daily scheduled Air Kenya fl ight departing Nairobi Wilson at 09.15 hours, twice daily scheduled Safari Link fl ight departing Nairobi Wilson at 08.00 and 10.20 and private charters from anywhere.

Accommodation

Lodges and tented camps: Lewa House, Lewa Safari Camp.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game drives, guided bush walks, horse riding, archaeological site, educational talks on history and day-to-day operation of the Conservancy gift shop.


Meru National Meru National Park Park Complete wilderness

Size

870 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Parks are part of semi-arid zone and have irregular rainfalls. Wet seasons are April-June and NovemberDecember. Rainfall is 635-762 mm in the west and 305-356 mm in the east

Major attractions

Former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness; views of Mount Kenya, rivers and riverine habitats, Tana River and Adamson’s Falls.

Contact details

PO Box 11, Maua Tel: +254 (0)164 20 613 Cell: +254 (0)733 662 439 www.kws.go.ke

Wildlife

East-north-east of Mount Kenya in Meru District of Eastern Province

Grevy’s zebra, elephant, eland, bush pig, common waterbuck, cheetah, leopard, reticulated giraffe, hippo, bohor reedbuck, hartebeest, python, puff adder, cobra, buffalo, gerenuk and more than 300 recorded species of birds.

Distance from Nairobi

Access

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

EASTERN REGION

km) is via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all-weather roads. Access to the park from Maua to Murera Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi. The other access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km), 290 km from Nairobi – inaccessible at the moment Airstrips: Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Meru Mulika Lodge and Elsa’s Kopje airstrip.

Accommodation

Lodges: Elsa’s Kopje, Leopard Rock Lodge Kenya Wildlife Service SelfCatering Accommodation: Murera Bandas, Kinna Bandas Special Campsites: Kampi Baridi; Kitanga, Makutano, Rojoweru, Mugung, Ken Mare and Kanjoo. Public campsite: Bwatherongi

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wildlife viewing, camping.

eru is a savannah National Park, 35 km east of Maua town in the north-eastern lowlands below the Nyambeni hills. Meru is part of a complex of protected areas along the Tana River that includes the adjacent Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves, Kora National Park and Rahole National Reserve. The wetter north-western sector is hilly, with rich volcanic soils. The land flattens towards the east, where grey alluvial volcanic soils appear. The area is crossed by numerous permanent streams, draining from the Nyambenes and flowing in parallel between tongues of lava south-eastwards towards the Tana River. As well as the many streams that cross it, the park is bounded by three large rivers: the Tana to the south, the Ura to the southwest and the Rojeweru to the east. There are several prominent inselbergs of basement rock, notably Mughwango and Leopard Rock. A section of the park has been designated a wilderness area in which there are no roads. The park is part of the domain made famous by the writings of Joy Adamson.

Roads: Access from Nairobi (348

348 km

M

Mwea Mwea National NationalReserve Reserve An undiscovered oasis of tranquillity

T

he reserve was gazetted in 1976 and covers an area north-west of Kamburu Dam at the confluence of the Tana and Th iba rivers. Two islands within Kamburu dam, built in 1976, are in the protected area. The southern boundary is the Tana River, the eastern boundary is the Th iba River and the northern boundary is an electric fence that stops animals from invading Makima settlements. The earliest human settlement in Makima dates from 1914, although wildlife conservation intervention was not until 1972. Today, Mwea National Reserve is co-managed by Kenya Wildlife Service and Mbeere County Council. Mwea National Reserve Trust was founded in 1991 with the aim of soliciting funds to develop the reserve. A number of projects have been funded through donations including a boat and outboard engine, energy-saving jikos and translocation of zebras.

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

the Reserve also shelters two other rare species; Pel’s fishing owl and the white-backed night heron.

Climate

Access

Semi-arid with an annual rainfall of 510-760 mm per annum

Major attractions

Game viewing; boat rides at Kamburu dam; hippo point; realm of rare birds; walking circuit

Contact details

PO Box 8-60113, Kiritiri, Embu Tel: +254 (0)68 20 301 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Mbeere District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi

160 km north-east of Nairobi

Size

42 sq km

Wildlife

Elephant, lesser kudu, Nile crocodile, hippo, giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, buff alo, leopard, grey duiker, blackbacked jackal, bushbuck, waterbuck, olive baboon, Sykes’ monkey, serval cat, spotted hyena, warthog, rock hyrax, bush pig, impala and hartebeest. Rare animals are also found in Mwea, including striped ground squirrel, genet, black-backed jackal and yellow baboons Birds: Over 200 species of birds. Mwea is renowned for its water birds and waders. The only protected area in which the globally threatened and Kenya-endemic Hinde’s babbler is known to occur,

Road: From Nairobi via Th ikaMatuu-Masinga Dam (160 km). Th is route is surfaced until Masinga Dam Bridge – a further 10 km of dirt road lies between here and Makima Gate. Access is also possible via EmbuMachanga. Air: Masinga airstrip near Masinga Lodge. By Air: Masinga Airstrip near Masinga Lodge

Accommodation

There are no lodges, tented camps or self-catering accommodation options in Mwea Reserve. Masinga Lodge is located at Masinga Dam outside the Reserve.

Best time to visit

All year round

Activities

Game viewing, bird watching.

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EASTERN REGION

Mwingi National Mwingi National Reserve Reserve Climate

The climate is hot and dry

Major attractions

www.kws.go.ke

Wilderness habitat; game viewing; Adamson’s Falls; fishing and boating on Tana River; Kampi ya Simba – former home of Joy and George Adamson and the grave of Elsa the lioness.

Contact person

Wildlife

Contact details

Senior Warden

Location

Mwingi District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi

Park fees

Accommodation

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Activities

Game viewing, fishing in River Tana, birdwatching, boating.

wingi National Reserve is one of four protected and contiguous areas that comprise the 4,400 sq km Meru Conservational Area (MCA). The other three are Meru National Park, Bisanadi National Reserve and Kora National Park. Mwingi borders all three and is the least accessible. Mwingi has been designated a Wilderness Activity Zone by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) which allows for fly camping, camel and horseback safaris as opportunities for traditional game viewing are extremely limited. Formerly known as Kitui National Reserve and located in Kitui District, Mwingi covers 745 sq km and is little visited by tourists. However, efforts are under way to improve the area’s road access.

Access

745 sq km

Size

All year round

Caracal, elephant, hippo, leopard, lion and several antelope species among others. Roads: The reserve can be accessed via Th ika to Mwingi then northeast through Kyuso village, or from Meru National Park through Adamson’s Bridge via Kora National Park.

350 km north-east of Nairobi

Best time to visit

M

The reserve is administered by Mwingi County Council. Wildlife populations are low, but there are hippo, crocodile, buffalo and warthog. Areas of the reserve have been encroached by settlements and permanent agriculture.

There is currently no accommodation in the reserve

OlOl Donyo Park Donyo SabukSabuk NationalNational Park Ultimate panoramic experience

A

rugged, hump-backed outcrop of ancient rock jutting high above the Athi Plains and hazily visible from Nairobi, Ol Donyo Sabuk is a densely forested mountain known to the local Kikuyu as ‘The Mountain of the Buffalo’, and to the Maasai as ‘The Big Mountain’. Just one road leads to its summit, which offers magnificent 360° panoramas over the Athi River, the pineapple fields of Th ika and the snowcapped peaks of both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. Within easy reach of Nairobi, the lush vegetation and cool air of this compact and scenic National Park make for an ideal day trip or camping weekend.

Contact details

PO Box 1514, Th ika Tel: +254 (0)67 435 5257 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Machakos District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi

85 km north-east of Nairobi

Size

20.7 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Hot and dry

Major attractions

Fourteen Falls; scenic views of Mount Kenya from the summit; the grave of Sir William Northrup McMillan (1872-1925) and his wife Lady Lucie; camping facilities.

Access

Road: From Th ika proceed 22 km along the main Garissa road to Makutano junction. At Makutano follow the KWS sign and turn right, proceeding 3 km on all-weather murram road to Donyo town. At Donyo turn right and proceed a further 2 km to the main gate.

46

Accommodation

Kenya Wildlife Service Self-Catering Accommodation: Sabuk House.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, bird watching, camping and picnicking.


EASTERN REGION

Samburu National Samburu NationalReserve Reserve Teeming with wildlife

Wildlife

The reserve covers an area of 170 sq km.

Rich in game, with many rare species including Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, beisa oryx (also referred to as the Samburu special five), elephants (a minimum of 900), lion, (Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx is a resident in the reserve), leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and over 450 species of birds recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. The lesser kestrel and the Taita falcon are species of global conservation concern both found in this reserve. Five species categorised as vulnerable have also been recorded here. These are the African darter, great egret, white headed vulture, martial eagle and the yellow billed ox-pecker. The critically endangered pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is also found here.

Distance from Nairobi

Access

Contact details

PO Box 519, Isiolo Tel/Fax: +254 (0)64 30 249 Email: snrgerenuk@yahoo.com; simonleirana@yahoo.co.uk

Location

Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southern corner of Samburu district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Uaso Nyiro river, which separates it from the Buff alo Springs National Reserve.

Size

345 km to Archer’s gate (main entrance to Samburu National Reserve).

Park fees

Contact tour operator.

Climate

Arid and semi-arid with hot days and cool nights. Annual mean temperatures between 18 and 30°C. Annual mean rainfall is 345 mm with peaks in November and April.

Road: The reserve can be accessed by road from Nairobi through Isiolo on all-weather bitumen while Isiolo Archer’s Post is gravelled. The road distance from Isiolo to Archer’s Gate is 34.3 km. Air: the reserve has an airstrip, the Oryx Samburu air strip.

Accommodation

The reserve houses a number of visitor facilities including:

Lodges: Samburu game lodge, Samburu Larsen’s Camp, Samburu Sopa, Samburu Intrepids, Elephant Bedroom, Elephant Watch Safaris, Miiba Mingi Tented Lodge. Permanent campsites: Game trackers, Lion King Safaris Special campsites: Doom palm campsite, Von derdecken (Hornbill) campsite, Grevy campsite, Impala campsite. Public campsites: Vervet monkey, butterfly, kigelia, kingfisher.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

There are various activities that visitors can engage in while at the reserve. These include: game drives, bird watching, sundowners, bush breakfast, nature walks, river rafting (depending on the water level) and the Samburu cultural experience.

I

t is one of the lesser known parks but nevertheless teeming with wildlife. Situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains. The reserve lies within ecological zone V, classified as arid and semi-arid with a moisture index of 42 to 57, which indicates that evapo-transpiration is greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot and the nights are cool. The annual mean temperatures range between 18°C and 30°C while the mean annual rainfall is 345 mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season starts in late May and goes on to early October, when a large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along Ewaso Nyiro river, the main source of water to the reserve and the nearby communities. Rare northern specialist species such as Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and beisa oryx.

47


NORTH RIFT REGION

Laikipia Wildlife Forum Vast plateau, straddling the equator Park fees

Fees vary between conservancies.

Climate

Contact details

PO Box 764-10400, Nanyuki Tel/Fax: +254 (0)20 216 6626 E-mail: info@laikipia.org

Mean annual rainfall varies from 400 to 900 mm. The long rains from March to May are followed by less rain between July and September, with cooler temperatures and high winds. Warmest months are December and January.

Contact person

Wildlife

Tourism Officer Email: tourism@laikipia.org

Location

Laikipia district is a wilderness to the north-west of Mount Kenya, straddling the equator at the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.

Distance from Nairobi 190 km to Nanyuki

Size

Laikipia covers 10,000 sq km and forms the core of the wider 56,000 sq km Ewaso ecosystem.

Wildlife population densities in the region are second to the Masai Mara ecosystem, while the diversity of large mammals is the highest in Kenya. The Ewaso ecosystem is home to Kenya’s second-largest population of elephant and the country’s highest populations of endangered species. Laikipia/Ewaso ecosystem supports eight protected rhino sanctuaries with more than half of Kenya’s black rhino population, is a haven for Grevy’s zebra (70 per cent of the world’s population), reticulated giraffe and Kenya’s only viable population of Lelwel hartebeest, as well as Africa’s only expanding population

of wild dog and large numbers of other large predators. Laikipia’s biodiversity is unique; yet, remarkably, it is not a protected area and its wildlife is sustained entirely by private and communal landowners.

Access

Road: From Nairobi and Nakuru. Air: Nanyuki airfield is the hub for fl ights linking Laikipia with elsewhere in Kenya. Most local tourism facilities have private airfields.

Accommodation

Laikipia has many luxury safari lodges and camps and also contains the highest number of communityowned lodges in Kenya. Laikipia is widely regarded as Kenya’s premier safari destination, with practices at the forefront of conservation tourism. See www.laikipia.org or www. laikipiatourism.com

Best time to visit

All months except May and November (rainy season).

L

aikipia offers visitors the freedom and space to walk, ride, cycle and camp among a diversity of wildlife and wild landscapes against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Kenya. The sense of engagement with Maasai guides, hosts and local people is something that visitors take home with them. Other activities include hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, mountain biking, camel and horse safaris, fly camping and helicopter excursions. Laikipia has a unique combination of dry and cool weather, influenced by the presence of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Highlands. Rainfall varies greatly from year to year. Laikipia differs from the rest of Kenya in several ways. Perhaps the most significant is that people from different cultures and backgrounds have come together to support and undertake conservation through their own organisation, the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.

Marsabit Marsabit National National ParkPark Mist ed montane paradise

M

arsabit National Reserve covers an area of 1,500 sq km and consists of a forested mountain that rises like an oasis in the middle of the desert wilderness and is the only source of permanent surface water in the region.

Contact details

The reserve has three spectacular crater lakes that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. One of the lakes, Lake Paradise, is most scenic and famous from early fi lms and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville.

Marsabit District, Eastern Province

Marsabit reserve is also well known because of large elephants like the famous Ahmed, an elephant that was provided with a 24 hour protection by a presidential order. Ahmed, who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever recorded, died aged 55 and his body was preserved and is now on display in Nairobi National Museum.

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PO Box 42, Marsabit Tel: +254 (0)69 2028,2279 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Distance from Nairobi 560 km north of Nairobi

Size

360 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot and wet, July to October is warm and dry, November and December are warm and wet.

Major attractions

Pristine forest, scenic landscape and wilderness, crater lakes, diverse local cultures. Camping is available.

Wildlife

Elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, greater kudu, hyena, aardwolf, caracal, klipspringer, Grant’s gazelle, oryx, and reticulated giraffe. Diverse birdlife.

Access

Road: 560 km north of Nairobi, 263 km north of Isiolo. Air: The park is located two and half hours by air from Nairobi and is served by a tarmac airstrip located 1 km from Marsabit town centre.

Accommodation

Lodges: Marsabit Lodge

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, birdwatching


NORTH RIFT REGION

Nasolot National Nasolot National ResReserve erve A scenic masterpiec e

Distance from Nairobi

528 km north-west of Nairobi

Size

92 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Contact details

PO Box 62, Kapenguria www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Hot and arid

Contact person

Major attractions

Senior Warden

Location

West Pokot District, Rift Valley Province

gate lies 6.2 km off the A1 main road. Air: There are air-strips at Turkwel dam and Kaputirr.

Accommodation

There are no accommodation options in the reserve. However self-catering accommodation and a campsite are available at the Marich Pass Field Studies Centre located 80 km south of the reserve off the A1 Kitale-Lodwar road.

Rocky out crop at the periphery of the reserve called Nasolot Hill; game viewing.

Best time to visit

Wildlife

Game viewing, birdwatching, sport fishing and boating at Turkwel dam, nature walks, camping.

Elephant, lesser kudu, bushbuck, duiker, lion, leopard, Kirk’s dik-dik, spotted hyena, jackal, impala, Sykes’ monkey, beisa and fringe-eared oryx, waterbuck, olive baboon, buffalo, gazelle and hippo.

N

asolot National Reserve was gazetted in 1979 and comprises 9,200 hectares of beautifully rugged land. It is located to the north of Mount Melo at over 3,000 metres. There are some spectacular views, although most of the reserve is plains. Because of its remote location there are few visitors.

All year round

Activities

Access

Road: The reserve is 146 km north of Kitale to the west of the A1 Kitale-Lodwar road. The reserve’s

Ol PejetaOlConservancy Pejeta Conservancy O

l Pejeta Conservancy is on the equator, in Kenya’s Laikipia District, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. The conservancy is home to an astounding variety of animals. Thanks to the wildlife and the wonderful views across the open plains of Ol Pejeta, an unforgettable safari experience is guaranteed. As a safe and secure private sanctuary, the conservancy offers a hassle-free safari experience with amazing wildlife viewing on good all-weather roads. Visitors pay a conservation fee for each day spent inside the conservancy including a visit to the chimpanzee sanctuary. Gates open at 07.00 and all vehicles must leave the conservancy by 19.00. For those staying at one of the conservancy’s five facilities, conservation fees are usually included in the safari package. Revenues generated by visitors are used in support of conservation and community outreach activities.

Contact details

Private Bag 10400, Nanyuki Tel: +254(0)62 32 408 Email: info@olpejetaconservancy.org www.olpejetaconservancy.org

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

On the equator, in the Laikipia district of Kenya, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya.

Major attractions

Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Black Rhino Sanctuary, Cricket in the Wild Tournament.

Access

The conservancy is only three hours’ drive from Nairobi and welcomes day visitors. The main gate is 14 km from the equator. Turn off just before Nanyuki town.

Accommodation

360 sq km

Camps: Sweetwaters Tented Camp; Ol Pejeta House; Ol Pejeta Bush Camp; Rhino Porini Camp; Kicheche Camp.

Park fees

Best time to visit

Size

Go to www.olpejetaconservancy.org or contact info@olpejetaconservancy.org

Climate

Dry and arid

All year round

Activities

Game drives, walking safaris and horse riding.

49


NORTH RIFT REGION

Sibiloi Park SibiloiNational National Park Cradle of mankind, garden of eden

Contact details

PO Box 219, Lodwar Tel: +254 (0)54 21 223 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Lake Turkana, Marsabit District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi 800 km north of Nairobi

Size

1,570 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Hot and arid

Major attractions

Origins of Man: Koobi Fora Museum & Research Base; thousands of fossils including giant tortoises; Behemoth, 45 ft long crocodile; Lake Turkana scenery; shoreline; game viewing.

Wildlife

Birdwatching: More than 350 recorded species including flamingo, pelican and duck. Hippo, crocodile, zebra, Grant’s gazelle, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, topi, greater kudu, lion, cheetah, leopard among other species. The world’s largest Nile crocodile population breeds on Lake Turkana’s Central Island.

Access

Road: The lake is a three-day drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr, or Maralal and South Horr. Alternatively travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores, via Kitale and Lodwar. From Kalokol boat hire services are available across the lake to Allia Bay. Air: There are two all-weather airstrips.

Accommodation

Lodges and tented camps: Oasis Lodge, Lobolo Tented Camp KWS self-catering accommodation: Allia Bay Guesthouse Campsites: Turkana Campsite, Sunset Strip Camp

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, bird watching, camping.

S

ibiloi National Park covers 1,570 sq km of wilderness scenic landscape on the shores of Lake Turkana. The park was partially established through the initiative of National Museums of Kenya to protect unique prehistoric and archeological sites some of which are linked to the origin of man. The fossils include a crocodile euthecodon brumpti, giant tortoile petusios broadleyi, elephant elephas recki and the petrified forest. The terrain is lake shore, dry semi desert bush and near desert country. The park is waterless apart from the alkaline waters of the lake.

South Central South And and Central Island Island National Parks Kingdom of the crocodile

T

hese remote and wild parks, along with Sibiloi National Park, are Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Contact details

The park offers visitors some stunning scenery and excellent birdwatching opportunities with flamingos, pelicans and water birds. It is an important stopover for migrant waterfowl, home to large breeding colonies of hippo and Nile crocodile and also has several species of venomous snakes. South Island is also the home of the ElMolo tribe, of which there are only thought to be 500 individuals.

Contact person

Central Island National Park is difficult to reach and is in effect a small active volcano with three saline carter lakes known as Flamingo, Crocodile and Tilapia. It is believed to support the world’s largest population of Nile crocodiles. Along the shoreline, there are plains and Grevy’s zebra, topi, oryx, reticulated giraffe, greater kudu and Grant’s gazelle.

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

50

PO Box 219, Lodwar Tel: +254 (0)54 21 223 www.kws.go.ke Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

Lake Turkana, Marsabit District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi 800 km

Size

5 sq km

Go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Scorching hot and arid (especially in December to March); coolest months are June and July. From May to September very strong winds blow both morning and evening. Rainfall is less than 250 mm per

annum and in some places it may not rain for several years.

Major attractions

Th ree crater lakes (Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake, and Tilapia Lake); active volcano; venomous reptiles and prehistoric fish.

Marine life

Reptiles: Estimated 12,000 crocodiles, saw-scaled viper, night and puff adder, cobra. Birdlife: 84 water bird species and various birds of prey.

Access

Roads: 800 km from Nairobi to Lake Turkana, then by boat from Sibiloi National Park or from Lodwar. Access from Nairobi is via the main Nairobi-Moyale road or from Maralal to Loiengalani through Baragoi and South Horr. Air: Two airstrips at Sibiloi.

Accommodation

Lodges and tented camps: Oasis Lodge, Lobolo Tented Camp

KWS self-catering accommodation: Allia Bay Guesthouse.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Crocodile hatching, viewing, camping.


NORTH RIFT REGION

South Turkana National Reserve South Turkana National Res erve Contact details www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Th is reserve lies on either side of the main highway about halfway between Kitale and Lodwar

Distance from Nairobi 348 km

Size

1,091 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Hot and dry

Major attractions

Scenic landscape and mountain vistas. It has a number of permanent rivers with woodland fringes and salty springs, game viewing.

Wildlife

Elephant, giraffe, buff alo, eland, oryx, impala, bushbuck, greater kudu, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and jackal. There are crocodiles in the rivers and abundant birdlife, much of which gathers on the banks of the Kerio River.

Access

By Road: Access is from Isiolo or by scheduled fl ight from Nairobi. Th is is a very remote reserve in the north of Kenya.

S

outh Turkana National Reserve is a rugged and very beautiful expanse of land with very few visitors. Consisting of dense thorn bushes and riverine forests, the landscape has a great variety, especially away from the seasonal riverbeds. Although it is low on plains game, it is worth a visit for the large expanses of mixed vegetation and the landscape.

Accommodation There are no lodges within the reserve.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing

Hell’s Gate National Hell’s Gate National Park

SOUTH RIFT REGION

Heaven’s volcanic glory

Contact details

PO Box 234-20117 Naivasha Tel: +254 (0)50 50 407/50 290 Fax: +254 (0)311 20 577 Email: hellsgatenp@kenyweb.com www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

H

ell’s Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 sq km and is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 90 km from Nairobi. The park is 14 km after the turnoff from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway. It is characterised by diverse topography and geological scenery. It is an important home of the lammergeyer. Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the National Park.

Location

Naivasha town, Rift Valley Province

Distance from Nairobi 90 km

Size

68 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

Warm and dry

Attractions

Game viewing, raptor nesting in cliffs, spectacular gorge walks, hot

springs, scenic landscape, the Geothermal Station, Maasai culture.

Wildlife

Includes eland, buff alo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, impala, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, klipspringer, rock hyrax and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck.

Access

Roads: The park is accessible via tarmac road from Nairobi. (90 km) via Naivasha town on the Lake Road South at Junction 5 km south of Naivasha.

Accommodation

While there is no accommodation in the park, a wide range of options exist in nearby Naivasha, or along Moi South Lake Road which leads from Naivasha to the park.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Hiking, camping, rock climbing, biking, bird watching and wildlife viewing.

51


SOUTH RIFT REGION

Lake National LakeNakuru Nakuru National Park Park Th e birdwatchers’ paradise

L

ake Nakuru is a very shallow, strongly alkaline lake set in a picturesque landscape of woods and grassland next to Nakuru town. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grassland alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woods and rocky hillsides covered with a euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter. The lake catchment is bounded by Menengai Crater to the north, the Bahati hills to the north-east, the Lion Hill ranges to the east, Eburu crater to the south and the Mau escarpment to the west. Th ree major rivers, the Njoro, Makalia and Enderit, drain into the lake, together with treated water from the town’s sewage works and the outflow from several springs along the shore. Lake Nakuru was declared a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to national park status in 1968. A northern extension was added to the park in 1974 and the lake was designated a ramsar site in 1990. The foundation of the park’s food chains is the cyanophyte spirulina platensis, which supports huge numbers of lesser flamingo. The vegetation is mainly woods and bushy grassland with a wide ecological diversity and character-

52

istic habitats that range from the lake waters to the escarpment and ridges. The normally water-covered surface of the lake occupies about a third of the park. The lake water supports a dense bloom of the blue-green cyanophyte spirulina platensis from which it derives its colour and which is the major food source for the flamingo. The lake is fringed by alkaline swamps with areas of sedge, cyperus laevigatus and typha marsh along the river inflows and springs. The surrounding areas support a dry transitional savanna with lake margin grasslands of sporobolus spicatus salt grass moving into grasslands of hyparrhenia hirta and Rhodes grass (chloris gayana) in the lower areas. More elevated areas have dry forest with acacia xanthophloea, olive olea hochstetteri and croton dichogamus; euphorbia candelabrum forest; and bushland dominated by the composites, mulelechwa tarchonanthus camphoratus and psiadia arabica. Rocky hillsides on the park’s eastern perimeter are covered with Tarchonanthys scrub and a magnificent Euphorbia candelabrum forest.

Contact details

PO Box 539, Nakuru Tel: +254 (0)51 221 7151, 221 7371 Email: kwslnnp@africaonline.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

Nakuru, Rift Valley Province.

Distance from Nairobi 160 km

Size

188 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Warm and dry

Game

Birds: Up to 1.5 million flamingos plus 450 other species of birds. Fauna: Includes Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, the rare leaf-nosed bat, colobus monkey, rock hyrax, hippo, leopard, lion, rhino, waterbuck, impala, gazelle, striped hyena,

bat-eared fox, wildcat, reedbuck and golden cat. Restocked mammals: Include lion, black and white rhino and the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.

Access

By road: The park is 160 km north-west of Nairobi at Nakuru. From Nairobi, take the A104 road (direction Naivasha). Main gate and park headquarters are 4 km south of Nakuru town (from Kenyatta Avenue). Take the Moi Road then turn left into Stadium Road which leads to Lanet Gate.

Accommodation

Lodges: Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge Kenya Wildlife Service self-catering accommodation: Naishi Guest House

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Birdwatching, camping, picnics, fi nest views of the lake from Baboon Cliff, Lion Hill and Out of Africa Hill.


SOUTH RIFT REGION

LemekLemek Conservancy Conservancy A group ranch

bimodal with the main dry period from mid June to mid October and a shorter dry season in January and February. Long rains from March to June and short rains from November to December. Rainfall is between 800 and 1,200 mm.

Contact details

Tel: +254 (0)736 425 022; (0)736 449 777

Contact persons

Wildlife

Cheetah, lion, elephant

Access

North-west of Koiyaki and Ol Kinyei and bordering Ol Choro Oirowua to the west.

Road: Can be reached via Narok. But roads are in poor condition, so 4x4 vehicles are recommended, particularly during the rains. Air: Airstrips at David Livingstone Lodge and Ngerende. Daily fl ights to and from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.

Size

Accommodation

Dominic Nchoe; Julius Kismei

Location

445 sq km

Park fees

US$40 per person per day

Climate

Maximum daily temperatures between 26 and 30°C. Rainfall is

Bush Buck Mara Camp, David Livingstone Safari Lodge, Duma Camp, Kicheche Fly Camp, Kicheche Camp, Mara Buffalo Camp, Saruni Safari Camp, Westminster Safari Lodge.

R

ecently there has been an initiative by various companies and organisations to promote responsible tourism and eco-friendly practices in the Greater Mara ecosystem by setting up private conservancies and renting back some of this land from the Maasai. Th is initiative has been very successful. The conservancies are well managed and a great deal of wildlife has returned to the area. The Maasai are paid more for their land than they would otherwise earn from agriculture. Lemek Group Ranch is a little further to the north of Maasai Mara and Koiyaki, but this does not mean there is less wildlife in the area. All these ranches neighbour each other and there are no fences, so wildlife is free to roam.

Lemek is home to about 1,000 Maasai families who own the land communally under the Kenya government’s Group Ranch Act. There is a move to establish private title to much of this land and large areas have already been divided up into individual plots. This move has an impact on conservation efforts and tourism because land is fenced for agriculture or residential purposes. Wildlife can no longer follow traditional migratory routes. Members of the community are encouraged to play an active role in managing their valuable resources to benefit their children and future generations. The Koiyaki Guiding School was established a few years ago to promote local indigenous guides in the area and to create other avenues of employment and opportunities for tourism and wildlife management in the area.

Best time to visit

August to November

53


SOUTH RIFT REGION

Mara North Conservancy Mara North Conservancy Contact details

Tel: +254 (0)736 505 189 Email: info@maranorthconservancy.com www.maranorthconservancy.com

Contact person Martin Sonderby

Location

North-western zone of the Masai Mara ecosystem.

Access

Air: The conservancy is served by four airstrips: Ngerenda, Shikar, Musiara and Kichwa Tembo. Scheduled and charter fl ights available. Road: Via the Narok to Aitong road.

Activities

Covering more than 32,000 hectares, this beautiful wilderness area is home to the famous Leopard Gorge, the setting for the BBC’s Big Cat Diary series and for National Geographic documentaries. Activities include game drives in the conservancy, the Masai Mara reserve, game walks with armed guides, bush meals in selected areas, the attractive Lemek Hills in the northern corridor of the conservancy and the Loita Hills migration, when thousands of wildebeest come to the Mara North Conservancy.

Accommodation

Ten lodges and camps are members of the conservancy and offer diverse products including luxury accommodation. Lodges and camps are listed on the conservancy’s website.

Mara Triangle Mara Triangle Contact details

Mara Conservancy PO Box 63457-00620, Nairobi Tel: +254 (0)20 374 9632 Fax: +254 (0)20 374 9636 Email: maraconservancy@maratriangle.org; mara@triad.co.ke www.maraconservancy.com; www.maratriangle.org

Contact person

William Deed or Brian Heath

Location

Trans Mara District – Western sector, Masai Mara

Distance from Nairobi

510 sq km

Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed buck and zebra. During the migration (July to November) huge numbers of wildebeest move in.

Park fees

Access

300 km

Size

Contact tour operator

Climate

Altitude 5,300 ft (1,600 metres). Rainy season from November through May, with peak rainfall in December-January and April-May. Dry season from June-November. Often sunny mornings with cloud build-up in the afternoons. During the rains this develops into thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Max temperatures up to 30°C and min temperatures around 20°C.

Wildlife

The Mara is one of the fi nest wildlife destinations in the world. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big Five, cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland,

54

Air: Daily scheduled flights to Serena airstrip and Kichwa Tembo airstrip, both within the conservancy. Road: The C12 passes through Narok, Sekenani then Keekorok and on to the Mara Triangle; the C13 goes from Bomet to Narok road and on to Ngorgori junction, past Lemek, the Oloololo gate and into the Mara Triangle. Access will be arranged by the camp, lodge or tour operator with whom the booking is made. 

Accommodation

Mara Serena (150 beds) and Little Governors’ Camp (36 beds) are the only two lodges in the Triangle. Kichwa Tembo, Mpata Club, Olonana, Mara Siria and Kilima Camp are on the periphery but use the Triangle. There are various public and private campsites, as well as camps and lodges, listed on the website.

Best time to visit

Peak season is between July and October, during the migration. Early November and February can also offer excellent game viewing.

Activities

Game viewing, camping, night game drives, guided walking safaris (limited), visits to Masai cultural villages, ballooning, bush dinner, lunch and breakfast and horse riding near the boundary of the reserve.


SOUTH RIFT REGION

Masai Mara Masai National Mara NationalReserve Reserve Jewel in the crown of Kenya’s tourism industry

Wildlife

95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and 400 bird species recorded, including annual migration of wildebeest involving over 1.5 million animals.

Access

Contact details

Fax: +254 (0)50 22 260 Email: info@narokcountycouncil.org www.narokcountycouncil.org

Distance from Nairobi 247 km south-west

Size

Contact person

Chief Park Warden

The reserve covers 1,500 sq km and stretches over large open grasslands that are ideal for viewing wildlife.

Location

Park fees

In the Great Rift Valley in southern Kenya

Contact tour operator

Climate

Maximum daily temperatures between 26 and 30°C. Rainfall is bimodal with the main dry period from mid June to mid October and a shorter dry season in January and February. Long rains from March to June and short rains in November and December. Rainfall is between 800 and 1,200 mm.

Road: Main roads are all-weather. Game viewing tracks can be used only by 4x4 vehicles in the rainy season. Air: Th ree airstrips at Keekorok, Oliombo and Musiara.

Accommodation

Lodges: Keekorok and Sarova Mara. Tented camps: Mara Intrepids, Explorer, Governors Camp, Olmurrani. Special camping sites: arranged via Chief Park Warden’s Office (0208 031 869).

Best time to visit

August to November

T

he Masai Mara National Reserve is widely recognised as the jewel in the crown of Kenya’s tourism industry. It plays a key role in preserving the world’s greatest migration of large mammals. The reserve is regarded as the most spectacular wildlife viewing area in Kenya, with over 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 bird species. The dominant inhabitant is the wildebeest. In July each year over 1.5 million wildebeest, along with large numbers of zebra and Thompson’s gazelle, migrate from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to fresh pastures in the Masai Mara before going back in October. The reserve is surrounded by local community group ranches serving as dispersal areas. The communities have allowed their land to be used as wildlife conservancies to earn tourism-related revenue.

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SOUTH RIFT REGION

Olare Motorogi Olare Orok Orok andand Motorogi ConservancyConser Contact details

Cell: +254 (0)711 771 081

Access

Covers an area directly adjoining the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Air: The Ol Kiombo airstrip, next to Intrepids, is half an hour’s drive from the conservancy.  Road: From the Masai Mara Talek Gate, travel north about 5 km on the main Talek-Itong road. The conservancy entrance is clearly marked.

Size

Accommodation

Contact person Rob O’Meara

Location

93 sq km

Park fees

US$30 per person per day

Activities

The camps in this area offer a variety of game drives (day and night), bushwalks, picnics, sundowners, cultural experiences and overnight fly camping.

There are three tented camps within the conservancies: Porini Lion Camp, Kicheche Bush Camp and Mara Plains. All the camps are sensitively built and operated within eco-friendly guidelines.

Best time to visit

June to April. The annual wildebeest migration is in August.

OlOlKinyei Conservancy Kinyei Conservancy Contact details

Jake Grieves-Cook

a maximum of 12 guests, giving the experience of real camping in an exclusive private wilderness, but with all the comforts required by discerning travellers. Food is excellent, with home-baked bread, fresh salads and high-quality meals prepared by the camp chef.

Access

Activities

Accommodation

Best time to visit

Tel: +254 (0)20 712 3129 Fax: +254 (0)20 712 0864 Email: info@porini.com www.porinisafaricamps.com

Contact person

Air: Daily scheduled fl ights into Siana airstrip or private charter. Road: Conservancy entrance is on the right just off the main NarokSekenani road when coming from Narok (75 km from Narok town). Mara Porini Camp has six guest tents sited in the shade of yellowbarked acacia trees along the banks of the Laetoli, a permanent spring within Ol Kinyei Conservancy. Each of the spacious tents has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet and safari shower. The camp accommodates

56

Day and night game drives, guided bush walks, sundowners, bush breakfasts and dinners, full-day game drives with picnic lunches, overnight fly camping for guests staying at Mara Porini Camp. 1 June to 15 April

L

ocated on the northern boundary of the Masai Mara National Reserve between Itong and Talek, this exclusive resort has a limit of 78 visitors at a time. An established partnership between individual landowners and tourism has made it possible to preserve this area in its pristine state, grazed by herbivores and prowled by a healthy population of carnivores. Th is is a wonderful, relatively undisturbed part of the Masai Mara ecosystem, with good populations of both predators and herbivores, including many elephants. The area offers pleasant and exclusive viewing of game in a pristine environment, with a rich and diverse wildlife population rarely found anywhere else on the African savannah. Rhino and wild dog have been sighted in the area occasionally, and it could become a viable habitat for these two highly endangered species, given the right protection through sensitive tourism development.


SOUTH RIFT REGION

Siana Wildlife TrustTrust Siana Wildlife

Home to the largest natural springs in the Mara ec osystem

Contact details

Tel: +254 (0)723 488 701/0733 700 603 / 0722 673 259

Contact person

Park fees

US$30 per person per day

Climate

Sammy Mpetti or Sammy Nkoitoi

Arid and warm during the day, cooler at night

Location

Access

Next to the north-eastern border of the Masai Mara Game Reserve in western Kenya.

Size

150 sq km

Air: Airstrips at Siana Springs and Oseur. Alternatively, visitors can drive via Narok. Road: Roads are in poor condition and a 4x4 vehicle is recommended, particularly during the rains.

Accommodation

Siana, with 24 tourist camps and facilities, is one of the richest areas of the Mara ecosystem in terms of biodiversity and wildlife density.

S

iana – meaning ‘plentiful’ in Maa, the Maasai language – takes its name from Siana Springs, in the heart of this area, the largest natural springs in the Mara ecosystem. The topography is one of rolling grasslands dotted with acacia trees and other shrubs, bordered on the east by rocky wooded hills. Th is is a great area for walking or riding safaris. The Siana Wildlife Trust is responsible for the allocation of revenue generated by tourism and conservation fees as well as playing a key role in the distribution of wildlife in the Masai Mara.

Best time to visit June to October

Activities

Walking or horse riding safaris

57


SOUTHERN REGION

Amboseli National Amboseli National Park Park Kilimanjaro’s royal court

A

mboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a national park in 1974. The park covers 392 sq km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 sq km Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches.

Contact details

Namanga (240 km), Emali (228 km)

Mount Kilimanjaro; Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park, especially the swamps and elephants; swamp below observation hill hosts many elephants, buff aloes, hippos and a variety of water fowl like pelican; Egyptian goose; contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle; herds of elephants.

The national park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.

Size

Wildlife

58

PO Box 18, Namanga Tel: +254 (0)456 22 251 Fax: +254 (0)456 22 250 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

On the border with Tanzania, Loitokitok District, South Kenya

Distance from Nairobi

392 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

The climate is mainly hot and dry. Amboseli is in the rain shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The maximum average temperature of the warmest month is 33°C during the day, while that of the coldest is 27-28°C. An annual rainfall of 300 mm per annum is distributed over two seasons: April/May and November/

December. Recurrent droughts and potential evaporation of 2,200 mm per annum typifies the region.

Major attractions

Amboseli has over 80 different mammals ranging from the tiny (and rarely seen) spectacled elephant shrew to the huge bulk of the African elephant. Few visitors will go home without superb elephant pictures with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. There are over 400 bird species.

Access

Roads: The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi-Arusha road, via Meshanani Gate. The road is tarmacked up to Namanga but is murram from Namanga to Meshanani Gate (75 km). The other road is via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi to Mombasa Road. The road is tarmacked up to Emali and murram from Emali to Remito Gate (64 km) Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.

Airstrips: The park has an airstrip at Empusel gate. There is also an airstrip for light aircraft at the park headquarters (Olekelunyiet). Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buff alo Lodge and Namanga town.

Accommodation

Lodges: Ol Tukai Lodge, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Tortilis Camp Kenya Wildlife Service: Kilimanjaro Guest house, Kibo Guest House, Simba Bandas, Nyati Bandas, Chui Bandas

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wildlife viewing


SOUTHERN REGION

Chyulu Chyulu HillsHills National National Park Park Contact details PO Box 458 Kibwezi www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Makueni District, Eastern Province and Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province

Distance from Nairobi 230 km

T

he Chyulu Hills are situated 190 km south-east of Nairobi and 30 km south-west of Kibwezi. They are of relatively recent volcanic origin and the range is composed of ash cones and craters.

Size

870 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator.

Climate

The climate is hot and dry

Major Attractions

Breathtaking views from the Chyulu Hills, cave exploration, one camp site next to park headquarters; game viewing.

Wildlife

Reptiles: Black mamba, puff adder, rock python, gecko, tortoise, lizard. Insects/arthropods: Dung beetles, butterfl ies, tsetse fly. Common Animals: Buff alo, bushbuck, eland, elephant, leopard; forest bush pig, mountain reedbuck, steinbok, wild dogs.

Access

Roads: Along Nairobi-Mombasa highway, the park signpost is 1 km past the Kibwezi turn-off. Park gate is 10 km off the highway. There is limited road network within the park and a 4x4 vehicle with high clearance is highly recommended Airstrips: There are two airstrips in the park.

The hills hold no permanent surface water but rainfall percolating through the porous rock feeds many permanent fresh water sources in the surrounding plains, notably Mzima springs and the Tsavo and Galana rivers. The hills are relatively undisturbed and shelter indigenous vegetation and wildlife. The park comprises the eastern flank of the hills including about half of the forest area. The park boundary runs down the centre of the hills along the line of the peaks. The western half is part of the West Chyulu Game Conservation area, owned by several Maasai group ranches.

Accommodation

There is currently no accommodation in the park, but campsites consist of Chyulu II, park headquarters, Kiboko campsite.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Wildlife viewing, camping, cave exploration, nature walks, hiking.

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SOUTHERN REGION

National Park Park Tsavo East National Th eatre of the wild

T

savo National Park is the largest park in Kenya, established in April 1948. It was divided into East and West for administrative purposes. The parks are intersected by the Nairobi to Mombasa railway and road.

Contact details

The park has an interesting and diverse history. The Waliangulu and Kamba tribes previously used the area as a hunting ground. The fi rst European to see Mount Kenya, the Rev Dr L. Krapf, journeyed on foot through this area in 1848. During construction of a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in 1898 the famed man-eating lions of Tsavo terrorised the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col J.H. Patterson. During the First World War, the British built fortresses along the Tsavo River to counter threats from invading German soldiers from Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The European explorer Capt Lugards passed through the area on his way to Uganda.

South-west Kenya, inland from the coast

Tsavo East is an easily accessible and popular park, attracting large numbers of tourists. Its scenic features include its large herds of elephant and other wildlife and its striking natural landscapes and structures.

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PO Box 14, Voi Tel: +254 (0)43 30 049 Email: tenp@africaonline.co.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

Distance from Nairobi

233 km (Mtito Andei Gate) and 250 km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi-Mombasa road. Nairobi to Voi Gate is 325 km and Mombasa to Voi Gate is 153 km.

Size

21,812 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) Go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Hot and dry

Major attractions

Large herds of elephants and other wildlife. Park is a catchment for visitors from coast resorts. Yatta plateau, about 300 km in length, is one of the world’s longest lava flows. Lugards Falls on the Galana River. Not a true waterfall but a series of rapids. Visitors can walk down to the river to view the rapids. Mudanda Rock is a major rock outcrop about 1.6 km long. There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking. Visitors can walk along the rock and view wildlife at the base while enjoying a cool breeze. Aruba Dam, built in 1952 across the Voi River, attracts many animals and water birds.

Confluence of the rivers Tsavo and Athi to form the Galana River. Wildlife: Elephant, rhino, buff alo, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk, zebra and Hunter’s hartebeest. Birds: Prolific birdlife featuring 500 recorded bird species.

Access

Roads: Mtito Andei Gate is 233 km south of Nairobi and 250 km north of Mombasa on the main NairobiMombasa road. Air: There are several airstrips in the park.

Accommodation

Lodge: Voi Safari Lodge Tented Camps: Galdessa Camp, Epiya Chapeyu Camp, Tsavo Safari Camp (Cottar’s), Satao Camp, Sobo, Patterson Safari Camp. Public campsites: Ndololo, Kandri, Main Gate campsites. Visitors must bring their own camping gear.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing; walking safaris along the Galana; birdwatching.


SOUTHERN REGION

Tsavo West National Tsavo Wes t NationalPark Park Land of lava, springs and man-eaters

Contact details

PO Box 71, Mtito Andei Tel: +254 (0)56 22 120, 22 483 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden / Tourism Officer

Location

240 km

and cave exploration and hiking; Mzima Springs and underwater hippo and fish watching; Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary; Lake Jipe; Mount Kilimanjaro; elephant; diverse bird and plant species.

Size

Wildlife

South-east Kenya, inland from Mombasa

Distance from Nairobi

9,065 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) Go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Temperature ranges from 20 to 30°C and rainfall between 200 and 700 mm. Two rain seasons: long rains in March and April and short rains in November and December.

Major attractions

Recent volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological

Leopard, cheetah, wild dog, buff alo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik-dik, lesser kudu and porcupine. Prolific birdlife with 600 recorded species.

Access

Roads: Main access routes are through Chyulu Gate from Amboseli and Mtito Andei Gate from Nairobi (240 km) and Mombasa. Visitors from Mombasa also use Tsavo Gate near Manyani. The park can also be reached via the Taveta-Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe gates. Air: Airstrips in good condition at Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau, Finch Hattons, Ziwani and Maktau.

Accommodation

Lodges: Ngulia Lodge, Kilaguni Serena Lodge. Severin Safari Camp/ Lodge, Finch Hattons. KWS self-catering accommodation: Kamboyo Guest House.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Boat excursion at Lake Jipe; birdwatching at Lake Jipe; annual bird ringing at Ngulia lodge; hill and rock climbing at Chaimu and Ngulia Hills.

T

savo West National Park represents about 30 per cent of Kenya’s park area and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and scenic mountain landscape. The park is a vast expanse of savannah stretching from Mtito Andei along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The north-eastern boundary along the highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park; but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour. The park’s habitats include open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi-desert scrub and acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops; more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets; and, on the Chyulu Hills, mountain forest. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges. Part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin, with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volcano. In the far south-west corner, on the Kenya Tanzania border, is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. Th is attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare Mountains. At Mzima Springs, in the north of the park, water that has fi ltered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools.

61


WESTERN REGION

Kakamega National Res erve Canopy of natural beauty Climate

Contact details

PO Box 879, Kakamega Tel: +254 (0)56 20 425 www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Kakamega District, Western Province

Distance from Nairobi

418 km (15 km from Kakamega town on the Kakamega-Eldoret highway)

Size

240 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Annual rainfall is over 2,000 mm. Most of this rain falls between April and November with a short dry season from December to March. Rain falls mostly in the afternoon or early evening and is often accompanied by heavy thunderstorms. Average temperatures of 15 to 28°C.

Major attractions

Over 300 bird species, bird and butterfly watching, over 350 varieties of trees, 27 species of snakes, over 400 species of butterflies, game watching. Forest holds mostly indigenous vegetation.

Wildlife

Attractions include the majestic black and white colobus monkey, flying squirrels, blue monkey and potto, the world’s slowest mammal. Forest buck, duiker and dik-dik are found in this equatorial rain forest, the endangered Turner’s eremomela, Chapin’s flycatcher and the African grey parrot. The forest is also home to the endangered De Brazza’s monkey, found in the isolated Kisere Forest Reserve, part of the larger Kakamega National Reserve.

Access

Road: 15 km from Kakamega town on the Kakamega-Eldoret highway. Access is via the Buyangu gate, 600 metres off the main road. With public transport, visitors can alight at Kambiri junction. Local community cyclists, popularly known as boda-boda, offer transport from the junction to the park. If visiting in personal transport, look out for a signpost after 15 km from Kakamega town on the highway.

Accommodation

The forest reserve offers a serene atmosphere for both campers and there is good banda accommodation for visitors. Kenya Wildlife Service self-service accommodation: Udo Bandas

Best time to visit

April to July in the rainy seasons

Activities

Game viewing, bird and butterfly watching, camping, self-guided nature walks, night walks, picnicking.

K

akamega Forest was established to protect the only mid-altitude tropical rainforest in Kenya, a remnant and eastern limit of the rainforests of Zaire and West Africa. This forest is unique in Kenya because it contains many species not found elsewhere. The forest lies in the Lake Victoria catchment, about 50 km north of Kisumu and just west of the Nandi Escarpment, on the edge of the central highlands. It was declared a trust forest in 1933. Two small nature reserves, Yala and lsecheno, were established within the forest in 1967. In 1985 nearly 4,400 hectares of the northern portion of the forest, together with the adjacent Kisere Forest, were gazetted as Kakamega Forest National Reserve. The forest is a water catchment area, with the lsiukhu and Yala rivers flowing through it. The terrain is undulating, with often steep-sided river valleys.

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary Kisumu Impala Sanctuary A lakeshore walk with the impalas

K

isumu Impala Sanctuary is the place to be for those who want to walk amid the impalas and zebras.

Contact details

The sanctuary is a holding area for animals that require special protection in this densely populated area. It focuses on a small herd of impalas, while the animal orphanage contains caged lion, leopard, cheetah, baboon, hyena, jackal, bush duiker, bush buck and buffalo. Zebras and monitor lizards also roam freely in the facility.

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Animals: Impala, leopard, hyena, jackal, ostrich and vervet monkey. Birds: Over 115 species recorded

Location

Access

The sanctuary is a shady and peaceful place with an abundance of birdlife and picnic areas beside the lake providing an ideal refuge away from the busy town centre of Kisumu.

PO Box 1193, Kisumu Tel: +254 (0)57 21 105, 44 824 Email: info@bushdrums.com

Kisumu District, Nyanza Province

Distance from Nairobi 358 km

Size

Less than 1 sq km

Park fees (residents and nonresidents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Climate

Hot and humid

Major attractions

Lake-shore picnic sites, serene and peaceful environment, the Lunatic Line railway to Dunga, nature trails and the forest environment, offering

62

peace and tranquillity away from the city.

Wildlife

Roads: Kisumu is 355 km north of Nairobi. The sanctuary is 3 km from Kisumu near Hippo Point. Air: Flight from Nairobi takes about one hour. There are regular fl ights. Water: Kisumu is linked by ferry with Kendu Bay, Homa Bay and Mbita.

Accommodation

No accommodation in the reserve. Visitors can fi nd places to stay in Kisumu.

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Camping, walking, birdwatching


WESTERN REGION

M

Mount Elgon National Mount Elgon NationalPark Park

ount Elgon is Kenya’s second highest mountain. It lies 140 km north-east of Lake Victoria and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border. It is an ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera and, on its summit, the spectacular flat-topped basalt column known as Koitobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 60 metres wide and frequented by elephants and other animals digging for salt. The mountain soils are red laterite. Mount Elgon is an important water catchment for the Nzoia River, which flows into Lake Victoria, and for the Turkwel River, which flows into Lake Turkana.

Mount Elgon National Park was established in 1968 and covers a narrow transect up the northeastern slopes of the mountain, from lower montane forest to the caldera edge. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mount Elgon Forest Reserve. The Ugandan side of the mountain is protected within Uganda’s Mount Elgon National Park.

Untamed wilderness, sec luded splendour

Contact details

PO Box 753, Kitale Tel: +254 (0)54 310 456/7 Email: menp@swiftkenya.com www.kws.go.ke

Contact person

Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Size

196 sq km

Park fees (residents and non-residents) For more information go to www.kws.go.ke

Accommodation

The climate is moist to moderate dry. Annual rainfall is over 1,270 mm.

Lodges: Mount Elgon Lodge, 0.5 km outside the park gate. Kenya Wildlife Service self-catering accommodation: Kapkuro Bandas.

Attractions

Best time to visit

Climate

Together with the fauna and flora, the park contains a variety of breathtaking scenery, with cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas and hot springs as well as the mountain peaks.

Wildlife

Location

On the western border of Kenya with Uganda, in the Trans-Nzoia District of Rift Valley Province.

Elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck, buff alo, duiker, black and white colobus, blue monkey and golden cat, among others. Birds: 340 bird species including the African crowned eagle, Ross’s turaco and red-fronted parrot.

Distance from Nairobi

Access

420 km

Kitale and then to the Chorlim Gate. There are two routes to the gate: either via Endebess or take the tarmac road 11 km past Kitale and turn left onto a murram road leading to the gate.

All year round

Activities

Vehicle circuits leading to animal viewing areas, the caves and Koitobos peak; self-guided walking trails (ask for Kitum Cave guide book at gate); hiking to Endebess Bluff and Koitobos Peak; primate and birdwatching; cave explorations; camping; photography.

Road: Access is via tarmac road to

Ndere Island National Ndere Island National Park Park Island of serenity and beauty

Contact details

Attractions

Contact person

Access

PO Box 1193, Kisumu Tel: +254 (0)57 21 105 www.kws.go.ke Senior Warden/Tourism Officer

Location

Kisumu District of Nyanza Province

Distance from Nairobi

Ndere Island; game viewing; African fish eagles; hippopotamus; Nile crocodiles; impalas. The park can be accessed by road or by boat from Kisumu. Air: Kisumu Airport is 60 km away.

Accommodation

432 km

Kenya Wildlife Service: Two campsites

Size

Best time to visit

Park fees (residents and non-residents)

Activities

4.2 sq km

For information go to www.kws.go.ke

N

dere Island, located just off the northern shore of Lake Victoria, is an established park, opened in November 1986. Ndere means ‘meeting place’ in the language of the local Luo tribe. According to Luo folklore, Kit Mikayi, mother of the tribe, rested up near Ndere after her long journey south down the Nile valley. She found the lush shorelines so pleasing that she and her people decided to stay.

All year round

Walking, game viewing, birdwatching, sport fishing and boat trips.

Climate

Hot and humid

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WESTERN REGION

Ruma National Ruma National Park Park Dramatic valley of the roan antelope and oribi Lake Victoria and 425 km west of Nairobi.

Size

120 sq km

Climate Contact details

Warden, Ruma National Park PO Box 420, Homa Bay Tel: +254 (020) 3529119 Email: rumastn@kws.go.ke

Location

In Lambwe Valley in South Nyanza, 140 km from Kisumu, 10 km east of

Hot and humid. Mean annual rainfall is 1,200 to 1,600 mm

Major attractions

Roan antelope, found nowhere else in Kenya.

Wildlife

Roan antelope, leopard, buffalo, hyena, Rothschild giraffe, oribi, Jackson and lelwel hartebeest, impala, bohor reedbuck, serval cat, topi, baboon, vervet monkey, honey badger, bush pig and many more. For birdwatchers, the park is an IBA area with over 400 species including a rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow.

Access

Main access is from Kisumu via Homa Bay. The main Nyatoto Gate is 42 km from Homa Bay. Take main tarmac road in the direction of Rongo. Branch off to Migori and follow signs to the park. One can also access the park from Kisumu by ferry from Lwanda K’otieno to Mbita and then a 20 km drive to Nyatoto Gate. The park’s three main circuit roads are drivable all year round. Four-wheel drive is necessary in the rainy seasons.

Accommodation

Campsites: Nyati and Fig Tree. Picnic sites: Korlang’o and Twiga. KWS self-catering accommodation: Oribi self-catering guesthouse

Activities

Game viewing, birdwatching, picnicking, camping, team building, meditation, sightseeing.

R

uma National Park is the only terrestrial park in Nyanza Province. It was established as the Lambwe Valley Game Reserve in 1966 to protect its indigenous population of rare roan antelopes. In 1983 it became Ruma National Park. The park is largely black cotton soil. The surrounding area is settled with a mix of small-scale cultivation and grassy pastureland. A classic East African landscape of rolling golden savannah dotted with picturesque acacia trees backed by dramatic hills and a magnificent escarpment, plus a mosaic of riverine woodland and balanties trees.

Saiwa National Saiwa Swamp Swamp National Park Park Sanctuary of the Sitatunga antelope

S

aiwa is the smallest park in Kenya, only 3 sq km. It was established to protect the semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope and encloses the swamp fed by the Saiwa river together with its fringing belts of rain forest. The park is enclosed by subsistence farming settlements.

Distance from Nairobi

Vegetation is a mixture of forest and swamp vegetation. The swamp is dominated by tall bulrushes and sedges. The swamp is bordered by a mixture of grassland, riverine forests and acacia.

Climate

Contact details

PO Box 4506, Kitale Email: kwsssnp@africaonline.co.ke www.kws.go.ke

Contact person Senior Warden

Location

Trans Nzoia District, Rift Valley Province

64

385 km

Size

2.9 sq km

Park fees

Go to www.kws.go.ke or contact tour operator. The Park has a typical African wetland climate, ranging from warm to cool humid to semi-arid.

murram road for 6.5 km to the Saiwa Gate.

Major attractions

Sitatunga aquatic antelope; game viewing; bird watching; trail walking

Wildlife

Sitatunga, monkeys, otter, genet, serval, mongoose, bushbuck and ratel (or honey badger). Birds: Over 372 species including such rarities as Ross’s turaco and blue-headed coucal.

Access

Road: The park lies 27 km north of

Kitale on the Kitale-Lodwar tarmac road. Approaching Kitale from the direction of Eldoret or Bungoma, turn right at Kitale Museum and follow the road into a left-hand bend. After 0.5 km turn right and follow signs for Kapenguria and Lodwar. After 1.5 km turn left onto the A1 Lodwar Road and proceed for 18 km to Kipsaina where there is a sign to Saiwa Swamp NP. Turn right at the sign and follow the

Accommodation

Sirikwa Guesthouse and Campsite Kenya Wildlife Service SelfCatering Accommodation: Tree Top House

Best time to visit All year round

Activities

Game viewing, bird watching, camping, picnicking, nature walks



Kenya Travel Guide & Manual